Age-related increases in DNA repair and antioxidant protection: a comparison of the Boyd Orr Cohort of elderly subjects with a younger population sample.
ABSTRACT One commonly held theory of ageing is that it is caused by oxidative damage to critical molecules in the body, including proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. Accumulation of oxidative DNA damage with age will occur if there is an increase in reactive oxygen species in the body, or a decline in antioxidant defences, or a reduced efficiency of DNA repair.
Using the comet assay, we have measured DNA breaks and oxidised purines in lymphocytes from subjects of different age groups: 20-35 (n = 40), 63-70 (n = 35), and 75-82 (n = 22). We also measured the resistance of lymphocyte DNA to H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative damage, and the repair activity of cell-free lymphocyte extracts on a substrate containing 8-oxoguanine.
We found an increase in oxidative base damage in old age, but this apparently does not result from deterioration of either antioxidant defence or DNA repair. In fact, both of these tend to increase with age. There were few age-related differences in plasma levels of dietary antioxidants: tocopherols and retinol were higher in the older subjects, while lycopene was highest in the youngest age group.
It is possible, that in old age, antioxidant defences and DNA repair are induced, in response to a higher level of oxidative damage, as mitochondria become more leaky and release more reactive oxygen. It is equally possible that older people, as survivors, had relatively high levels of antioxidant defences and DNA repair earlier in their lives, compared with those who did not survive to such an age.
Article: Mechanistic Investigation of ROS-Induced DNA Damage by Oestrogenic Compounds in Lymphocytes and Sperm Using the Comet Assay.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Past research has demonstrated that oestrogenic compounds produce strand breaks in the DNA of sperm and lymphocytes via reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the current investigation, sperm and lymphocytes were treated in vitro with oestrogenic compounds (diethylstilboestrol, progesterone, 17β-oestradiol, noradrenaline and triiodotyronine) and several aspects of DNA damage were investigated. Firstly, mediation of DNA damage by lipid peroxidation was investigated in the presence of BHA (a lipid peroxidation blocker). BHA reduced the DNA damage generated by 17β-oestradiol and diethylstilboestrol in a statistically significant manner. No effects were observed for sperm. Secondly, the presence of oxidized bases employing FPG and EndoIII were detected for lymphocytes and sperm in the negative control and after 24 h recovery in lymphocytes but not immediately after treatment for both cell types. The successful detection of oxidized bases in the negative control (untreated) of sperm provides an opportunity for its application in biomonitoring studies. DNA repair at 24 h after exposure was also studied. A nearly complete recovery to negative control levels was shown in lymphocytes 24 h recovery after oestrogenic exposure and this was statistically significant in all cases. Rapid rejoining of DNA, in a matter of hours, is a characteristic of DNA damaged by ROS.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2011; 12(5):2783-96. · 2.60 Impact Factor