ABSTRACT: Despite that the use of DDT has been restricted for more than 40 years to malaria affected areas, low doses of this pesticide and its metabolites DDE and DDD can be found in the environment around the world. Although it has been shown that these pollutants induce cell and DNA damage, the mechanisms of their cytogenotoxic activity remains largely unknown. This study looks into their possible genotoxic effects, at doses that can be found in body fluids, on human lymphocytes using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay and the comet assay. After exposure for 1, 6, and 24 h compounds p,p'-DDT (0.1 μg mL(-1)), p,p'-DDE (4.1 μg mL(-1)), and p,p'-DDD (3.9 μg mL(-1)) showed increase in DNA damage. The most significant results were observed at exposure period of 24 h where number of micronucleated cells increased from control 2.5±0.71 to 23.5±3.54, 13.5±0.71, and 16.5±6.36 for DDT, DDE, and DDD, respectively. Similar effect was observed using comet test where the percentage of DNA in comets tail increased from control 1.81±0.16 to 17.24±0.55, 11.21±0.56 and 9.28±0.50 for each compound, respectively. At the same time Fpg-comet assay failed to report induction of oxidative DNA damage of these pollutants. Additionally, the type of cell death was determined using diffusion assay and necrosis dominated. Our findings suggest that even at low concentrations, these pesticides could induce cytogenetic damage to human peripheral blood lymphocytes and in that manner have the impact on human health as well.
Chemosphere 02/2012; 87(11):1288-94. · 3.21 Impact Factor