To extend current knowledge on the underlying mechanisms of air pollution particulate matter (PM(2.5))-induced human lung toxicity, the metabolic activation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) within PM(2.5) and PAH-DNA bulky stable adduct patterns in human alveolar macrophage (AM) and/or human lung epithelial L132 cells in mono- and cocultures were studied. In the coculture system, only human AM were exposed to air pollution PM(2.5), unlike L132 cells. Particles, inorganic fraction and positive controls [i.e. TiO(2), thermally desorbed PM (dPM) and benzo[a]pyrene, B[a]P, respectively] were included in the experimental design. Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1 gene expression, CYP1A1 catalytic activity and PAH-DNA bulky stable adducts were studied after 24, 48 and/or 72 h. Relatively low doses of PAH within PM(2.5) induced CYP1A1 gene expression and CYP1A1 catalytic activity in human AM and, thereafter, PAH-DNA bulky stable adduct formation. Adduct spots in PM(2.5) -exposed human AM were higher than those in dPM-exposed ones, thereby showing the incomplete removal of PAH by thermal desorption. PAH within air pollution PM(2.5) induced CYP1A1 gene expression but not CYP1A1 catalytic activity in L132 cells. However, despite the absence of PAH-DNA bulky stable adduct in L132 cells from human AM/L132 cell cocultures exposed to dPM(2.5) or PM(2.5), reliable quantifiable PAH-DNA bulky stable adducts were observed in L132 cells from human AM/L132 cell coculture exposed to B[a]P. Taken together, these results support the exertion of genotoxicity of highly reactive B[a]P-derived metabolites produced within human AM not only in primary target human AM, but also in secondary target L132 cells.
Genotoxic impact of the occupational exposure was measured in farmers from Normandy, France. White blood cell DNA-adduct levels were measured for 116 non-smoking French crop farmers, using the (32)P-postlabelling method. A single blood sample was collected per farmer, at a randomised period of the year. Significantly higher bulky DNA-adduct levels were observed for samples collected from April to July, compared with samples collected during the other months. Agricultural practices were not significantly different between these two groups of farmers, but interestingly, the mean and the median duration without exposure to pesticides were significantly shorter for farmers sampled between April and July. These data, obtained in a homogeneous population of farmers, indicate a genotoxic impact for a sub-group, with a potential association with the use of pesticides. From the rest of the group, this study also gives for the first time additional information on the background fluctuations of this biomarker over the year.
Mutations in the TP53 gene are the most common alterations in human tumours. TP53 mutational patterns have sometimes been linked to carcinogen exposure. In hepatocellular carcinoma, a specific G>T transversion on codon 249 is classically described as a fingerprint of aflatoxin B(1) exposure. Likewise G>T transversions in codons 157 and 158 have been related to tobacco exposure in human lung cancers. However, controversies remain about the interpretation of TP53 mutational pattern in tumours as the fingerprint of genotoxin exposure. By using a functional assay, the Functional Analysis of Separated Alleles in Yeast (FASAY), the present study depicts the mutational pattern of TP53 in normal human fibroblasts after in vitro exposure to well-known carcinogens: benzo[a]pyrene, aflatoxin B(1) and acetaldehyde. These in vitro patterns of mutations were then compared to those found in human tumours by using the IARC database of TP53 mutations. The results show that the TP53 mutational patterns found in human tumours can be only partly ascribed to genotoxin exposure. A complex interplay between the functional impact of the mutations on p53 phenotype and the cancer natural history may affect these patterns. However, our results strongly support that genotoxins exposure plays a major role in the aetiology of the considered cancers.
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