ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis (TB), a chronic infectious disease, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Expression of iNOS and consequent production of NO during the inflammatory process is an important defense mechanism against TB bacteria. We have tested whether pulmonary TB patients undergoing anti-tuberculosis treatment present DNA damage, and whether this damage is related to oxidative stress, by evaluating total hydrophilic antioxidant capacity and iNOS expression. DNA damage in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients and healthy tuberculin test (PPD) positive controls was evaluated by single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay), and iNOS expression was measured by qPCR. We also evaluated total hydrophilic antioxidant capacity in plasma from patients and controls. Compared to controls, pulmonary TB patients under treatment presented increased DNA damage, which diminished during treatment. Also, the antioxidant capacity of these individuals was increased at the start of treatment, and reduced during treatment. TB patients showed lower iNOS expression, but expression tended to increase during treatment. Our results indicate that pulmonary TB patients under anti-TB treatment exhibit elevated DNA damage in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This damage was not related to nitric oxide but may be due to other free radicals.
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 04/2012; 747(1):82-5. · 2.85 Impact Factor