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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Primary DNA damage in chrome-plating workers.

In order to evaluate the primary DNA damage due to occupational exposure to chromium (VI), DNA strand-breaks and apoptosis in peripheral lymphocytes were measured in a group of 19 chrome-plating workers. DNA strand-breaks was assessed by alkaline (pH>13) single-cell microgel electrophoresis ('comet') assay, while apoptosis was measured by flow-cytometry after propidium iodide staining of the cells. Concentrations of chromium in urine, erythrocytes and lymphocytes were investigated as biological indicators of exposure. A group of 18 hospital workers (control group I) and another 20 university personnel (control group II) without exposure to chromium were also studied as controls. The results of the study show that chrome-plating workers have higher levels of chromium in urine, erythrocytes and lymphocytes than unexposed workers. Comet tail moment values, assumed as index of DNA damage, are increased in chromium-exposed workers and results are significantly correlated to chromium lymphocyte concentrations. No difference emerged in the percentage of apoptotic nuclei in exposed and unexposed workers. The study confirms that measurements of chromium in erythrocytes and lymphocytes may provide useful information about recent and past exposure to hexavalent chromium at the workplace. The increase in DNA strand-breaks measured by comet assay suggests this test is valid for the biological monitoring of workers exposed to genotoxic compounds such as chromium (VI).[1]


  1. Primary DNA damage in chrome-plating workers. Gambelunghe, A., Piccinini, R., Ambrogi, M., Villarini, M., Moretti, M., Marchetti, C., Abbritti, G., Muzi, G. Toxicology (2003) [Pubmed]
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