Advances in Autism Research
compiled by Teresa Binstock for ARI
Excessive oxidative stress in autistic children
Oxidate stress is akin to rust. We might think of rusted pipes in an old building, of rust within parts of a machine. In humans and other organisms, oxidative stress can occur within cells and neurons. Adverse effects of oxidative stress - including neurodegeneration - are describe in peer-reviewed literature. Here are citations which describe findings of elevated oxidative stress in autistic children.
1: Oxidative stress in psychiatric disorders: evidence base and therapeutic implications
Ng F et al.
Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008 Jan 21;:1-26
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diverse disease states, and may be a common pathogenic mechanism underlying many major psychiatric disorders, as the brain has comparatively greater vulnerability to oxidative damage. This review aims to examine the current evidence for the role of oxidative stress in psychiatric disorders, and its academic and clinical implications. A literature search was conducted using the Medline, Pubmed, PsycINFO, CINAHL PLUS, BIOSIS Previews, and Cochrane databases, with a time-frame extending to September 2007. The broadest data for oxidative stress mechanisms have been derived from studies conducted in schizophrenia, where evidence is available from different areas of oxidative research, including oxidative marker assays, psychopharmacology studies, and clinical trials of antioxidants. For bipolar disorder and depression, a solid foundation for oxidative stress hypotheses has been provided by biochemical, genetic, pharmacological, preclinical therapeutic studies and one clinical trial. Oxidative pathophysiology in anxiety disorders is strongly supported by animal models, and also by human biochemical data. Pilot studies have suggested efficacy of N-acetylcysteine in cocaine dependence, while early evidence is accumulating for oxidative mechanisms in autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In conclusion, multi-dimensional data support the role of oxidative stress in diverse psychiatric disorders. These data not only suggest that oxidative mechanisms may form unifying common pathogenic pathways in psychiatric disorders, but also introduce new targets for the development of therapeutic interventions.
2. Evidence of toxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal insult in autism
Kern JK, Jones AM.
J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2006 Nov-Dec;9(6):485-99.
According to the Autism Society of America, autism is now considered to be an epidemic. The increase in the rate of autism revealed by epidemiological studies and government reports implicates the importance of external or environmental factors that may be changing. This article discusses the evidence for the case that some children with autism may become autistic from neuronal cell death or brain damage sometime after birth as result of insult; and addresses the hypotheses that toxicity and oxidative stress may be a cause of neuronal insult in autism. The article first describes the Purkinje cell loss found in autism, Purkinje cell physiology and vulnerability, and the evidence for postnatal cell loss. Second, the article describes the increased brain volume in autism and how it may be related to the Purkinje cell loss. Third, the evidence for toxicity and oxidative stress is covered and the possible involvement of glutathione is discussed. Finally, the article discusses what may be happening over the course of development and the multiple factors that may interplay and make these children more vulnerable to toxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal insult.
3. Metabolic endophenotype and related genotypes are associated with oxidative stress in children with autism
James SJ et al.
Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2006 Dec 5;141(8):947-56.
Autism is a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder usually diagnosed in early childhood that is characterized by impairment in reciprocal communication and speech, repetitive behaviors, and social withdrawal. Although both genetic and environmental factors are thought to be involved, none have been reproducibly identified. The metabolic phenotype of an individual reflects the influence of endogenous and exogenous factors on genotype. As such, it provides a window through which the interactive impact of genes and environment may be viewed and relevant susceptibility factors identified. Although abnormal methionine metabolism has been associated with other neurologic disorders, these pathways and related polymorphisms have not been evaluated in autistic children. Plasma levels of metabolites in methionine transmethylation and transsulfuration pathways were measured in 80 autistic and 73 control children. In addition, common polymorphic variants known to modulate these metabolic pathways were evaluated in 360 autistic children and 205 controls. The metabolic results indicated that plasma methionine and the ratio of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), an indicator of methylation capacity, were significantly decreased in the autistic children relative to age-matched controls. In addition, plasma levels of cysteine, glutathione, and the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione, an indication of antioxidant capacity and redox homeostasis, were significantly decreased. Differences in allele frequency and/or significant gene-gene interactions were found for relevant genes encoding the reduced folate carrier (RFC 80G > A), transcobalamin II (TCN2 776G > C), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT 472G > A), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR 677C > T and 1298A > C), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST M1). We propose that an increased vulnerability to oxidative stress (endogenous or environmental) may contribute to the development and clinical manifestations of autism. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
4: Altered vascular phenotype in autism: correlation with oxidative stress
Yao Y et al.
Arch Neurol. 2006 Aug;63(8):1161-4.
BACKGROUND: Autism is a neurologic disorder characterized by impaired communication and social interaction. Results of previous studies showed biochemical evidence for abnormal platelet reactivity and altered blood flow in children with autism. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the vascular phenotype in children with autism. DESIGN AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Urinary levels of isoprostane F(2alpha)-VI, a marker of lipid peroxidation; 2,3-dinor-thromboxane B(2), which reflects platelet activation; and 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1alpha), a marker of endothelium activation, were measured by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in subjects with autism and healthy control subjects. SETTING AND SUBJECTS: Children with a clinical diagnosis of autism attending the Pfeiffer Treatment Center. RESULTS: Compared with controls, children with autism had significantly higher urinary levels of isoprostane F(2alpha)-VI, 2,3-dinor-thromboxane B(2), and 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1alpha). Lipid peroxidation levels directly correlated with both vascular biomarker ratios. CONCLUSION: Besides enhanced oxidative stress, platelet and vascular endothelium activation also could contribute to the development and clinical manifestations of autism.
5: Oxidative stress in autism
Chauhan A, Chauhan V.
Pathophysiology. 2006 Aug;13(3):171-81.
Autism is a severe developmental disorder with poorly understood etiology. Oxidative stress in autism has been studied at the membrane level and also by measuring products of lipid peroxidation, detoxifying agents (such as glutathione), and antioxidants involved in the defense system against reactive oxygen species (ROS). Lipid peroxidation markers are elevated in autism, indicating that oxidative stress is increased in this disease. Levels of major antioxidant serum proteins, namely transferrin (iron-binding protein) and ceruloplasmin (copper-binding protein), are decreased in children with autism. There is a positive correlation between reduced levels of these proteins and loss of previously acquired language skills in children with autism. The alterations in ceruloplasmin and transferrin levels may lead to abnormal iron and copper metabolism in autism. The membrane phospholipids, the prime target of ROS, are also altered in autism. The levels of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) are decreased, and phosphatidylserine (PS) levels are increased in the erythrocyte membrane of children with autism as compared to their unaffected siblings. Several studies have suggested alterations in the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase in autism. Additionally, altered glutathione levels and homocysteine/methionine metabolism, increased inflammation, excitotoxicity, as well as mitochondrial and immune dysfunction have been suggested in autism. Furthermore, environmental and genetic factors may increase vulnerability to oxidative stress in autism. Taken together, these studies suggest increased oxidative stress in autism that may contribute to the development of this disease. A mechanism linking oxidative stress with membrane lipid abnormalities, inflammation, aberrant immune response, impaired energy metabolism and excitotoxicity, leading to clinical symptoms and pathogenesis of autism is proposed.
6: High levels of homocysteine and low serum paraoxonase 1 arylesterase activity in children with autism
Paşca SP et al.
Life Sci. 2006 Apr 4;78(19):2244-8.
Autism is a behaviorally defined disorder of unknown etiology that is thought to be influenced by genetic and environmental factors. High levels of homocysteine and oxidative stress are generally associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. The purpose of this study was to compare the level of homocysteine and other biomarkers in children with autism to corresponding values in age-matched healthy children. We measured total homocysteine (tHcy), vitamin B(12), paraoxonase and arylesterase activities of human paraoxonase 1 (PON1) in plasma and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity in erythrocytes from 21 children: 12 with autism (age: 8.29 +/- 2.76 years) and 9 controls (age: 8.33 +/- 1.82 years). We found statistically significant differences in tHcy levels and in arylesterase activity of PON1 in children with autism compared to the control group: 9.83 +/- 2.75 vs. 7.51 +/- 0.93 micromol/L (P < or =0.01) and 72.57 +/- 11.73 vs. 81.83 +/- 7.39 kU/L (P < or =0.005). In the autistic group there was a strong negative correlation between tHcy and GPx activity and the vitamin B(12) level was low or suboptimal. In conclusion, our study shows that in children with autism there are higher levels of tHcy, which is negatively correlated with GPx activity, low PON1 arylesterase activity and suboptimal levels of vitamin B(12).
7: Increased excretion of a lipid peroxidation biomarker in autism
Ming X et al.
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2005 Nov;73(5):379-84.
It is thought that autism could result from an interaction between genetic and environmental factors with oxidative stress as a potential mechanism linking the two. One genetic factor may be altered oxidative-reductive capacity. This study tested the hypothesis that children with autism have increased oxidative stress. We evaluated children with autism for the presence of two oxidative stress biomarkers. Urinary excretion of 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and 8-isoprostane-F2alpha (8-iso-PGF2alpha) were determined in 33 children with autism and 29 healthy controls. 8-iso-PGF2alpha levels were significantly higher in children with autism. The isoprostane levels in autistic subjects were variable with a bimodal distribution. The majority of autistic subjects showed a moderate increase in isoprostane levels while a smaller group of autistic children showed dramatic increases in their isoprostane levels. There was a trend of an increase in 8-OHdG levels in children with autism but it did not reach statistical significance. There was no significant correlation between the levels of the biomarkers and vitamin intake, dietary supplements, medicine, medical disorders, or history of regression. These results suggest that the lipid peroxidation biomarker is increased in this cohort of autistic children, especially in the subgroup of autistic children.
8. Oxidative stress in autism
Altern Ther Health Med. 2004 Nov-Dec;10(6):22-36.
[An extraordinarily clear review with citations for treatment options]
Indirect markers are consistent with greater oxidative stress in autism. They include greater free-radical production, impaired energetics and cholinergics, and higher excitotoxic markers. Brain and gut, both abnormal in autism, are particularly sensitive to oxidative injury. Higher red-cell lipid peroxides and urinary isoprostanes in autism signify greater oxidative damage to biomolecules. A preliminary study found accelerated lipofuscin deposition--consistent with oxidative injury to autistic brain in cortical areas serving language and communication. Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of potent antioxidants--vitamin C or carnosine--significantly improved autistic behavior. Benefits from these and other nutritional interventions may be due to reduction of oxidative stress. Understanding the role of oxidative stress may help illuminate the pathophysiology of autism, its environmental and genetic influences, new treatments, and prevention. OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this article, participants should be able to: 1. Be aware of laboratory and clinical evidence of greater oxidative stress in autism. 2. Understand how gut, brain, nutritional, and toxic status in autism are consistent with greater oxidative stress. 3. Describe how anti-oxidant nutrients are used in the contemporary treatment of autism.
9: Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impaired methylation capacity in children with autism
James SJ et al.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6):1611-7.
BACKGROUND: Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that usually presents in early childhood and that is thought to be influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Although abnormal metabolism of methionine and homocysteine has been associated with other neurologic diseases, these pathways have not been evaluated in persons with autism. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate plasma concentrations of metabolites in the methionine transmethylation and transsulfuration pathways in children diagnosed with autism. DESIGN: Plasma concentrations of methionine, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), adenosine, homocysteine, cystathionine, cysteine, and oxidized and reduced glutathione were measured in 20 children with autism and in 33 control children. On the basis of the abnormal metabolic profile, a targeted nutritional intervention trial with folinic acid, betaine, and methylcobalamin was initiated in a subset of the autistic children. RESULTS: Relative to the control children, the children with autism had significantly lower baseline plasma concentrations of methionine, SAM, homocysteine, cystathionine, cysteine, and total glutathione and significantly higher concentrations of SAH, adenosine, and oxidized glutathione. This metabolic profile is consistent with impaired capacity for methylation (significantly lower ratio of SAM to SAH) and increased oxidative stress (significantly lower redox ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione) in children with autism. The intervention trial was effective in normalizing the metabolic imbalance in the autistic children. CONCLUSIONS: An increased vulnerability to oxidative stress and a decreased capacity for methylation may contribute to the development and clinical manifestation of autism.
10. Oxidative stress in autism: increased lipid peroxidation and reduced serum levels of ceruloplasmin and transferrin--the antioxidant proteins
Chauhan A et al.
Life Sci. 2004 Oct 8;75(21):2539-49.
Autism is a neurological disorder of childhood with poorly understood etiology and pathology. We compared lipid peroxidation status in the plasma of children with autism, and their developmentally normal non-autistic siblings by quantifying the levels of malonyldialdehyde, an end product of fatty acid oxidation. Lipid peroxidation was found to be elevated in autism indicating that oxidative stress is increased in this disease. Levels of major antioxidant proteins namely, transferrin (iron-binding protein) and ceruloplasmin (copper-binding protein) in the serum, were significantly reduced in autistic children as compared to their developmentally normal non-autistic siblings. A striking correlation was observed between reduced levels of these proteins and loss of previously acquired language skills in children with autism. These results indicate altered regulation of transferrin and ceruloplasmin in autistic children who lose acquired language skills. It is suggested that such changes may lead to abnormal iron and copper metabolism in autism, and that increased oxidative stress may have pathological role in autism.
11: Increased oxidative stress and altered activities of erythrocyte free radical scavenging enzymes in autism
Zoroglu SS et al.
Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2004 Jun;254(3):143-7.
There is great evidence in recent years that oxygen free radicals play an important role in the pathophysiology of many neuropsychiatric disorders. The present study was performed to assess the changes in red blood cells thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) levels, and superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), adenosine deaminase (ADA) and xanthine oxidase (XO) activities in patients with autism (n = 27) compared to age- and sex-matched normal controls (n = 26). In the autistic group, increased TBARS levels (p < 0.001) and XO (p < 0.001) and SOD (p < 0.001) activity, decreased CAT (p < 0.001) activity and unchanged ADA activity were detected. It is proposed that antioxidant status may be changed in autism and this new situation may induce lipid peroxidation. These findings indicated a possible role of increased oxidative stress and altered enzymatic antioxidants, both of which may be relevant to the pathophysiology of autism.
12: Changes in nitric oxide levels and antioxidant enzyme activities may have a role in the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in autism
Söğüt S et al.
Clin Chim Acta. 2003 May;331(1-2):111-7.
BACKGROUND: There is evidence that oxygen free radicals play an important role in the pathophysiology of many neuropsychiatric disorders. Although it has not been investigated yet, several recent studies proposed that nitric oxide (NO) and other parameters related to oxidative stress may have a pathophysiological role in autism. METHODS: We assessed the changes in superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) levels in plasma as well as NO levels in red blood cells (RBC) in patients with autism (n=27) compared to age- and sex-matched normal controls (n=30). RESULTS: In the autistic group, increased RBC NO levels (p<0.0001) and plasma GSH-Px activity (p<0.0001) and unchanged plasma TBARS levels and SOD activity were detected. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate a possible role of increased oxidative stress and altered enzymatic antioxidants, both of which may be relevant to the pathophysiology of autism.
13: Investigation of antioxidant enzymes in children with autistic disorder
Yorbik O et al.
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2002 Nov;67(5):341-3.
Impaired antioxidant mechanisms are unable to inactivate free radicals that may induce a number of pathophysiological processes and result in cell injury. Thus, any abnormality in antioxidant defence systems could affect neurodevelopmental processes and could have an important role in the etiology of autistic disorder. The plasma levels of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and erythrocyte levels of GSH-Px were investigated in 45 autistic children and compared with 41 normal controls. Levels of erythrocyte SOD, erythrocyte and plasma GSH-Px were assayed spectrophotometrically. Activities of erythrocyte SOD, erythrocyte and plasma GSH-Px in autistic children were significantly lower than normals. These results indicate that autistic children have low levels of activity of blood antioxidant enzyme systems; if similar abnormalities are present in brain, free radical accumulation could damage brain tissue.
14. The Autistic Phenotype Exhibits a Remarkably Localized Modification of Brain Protein by Products of Free Radical-Induced Lipid Oxidation
Teresa A. Evans et al.
Am J Biochem Biotech 4(2): 61-72, 2008
Oxidative damage has been documented in the peripheral tissues of autism patients. In this study, we sought evidence of oxidative injury in autistic brain. Carboxyethyl pyrrole (CEP) and isolevuglandin (isoLG)E2-protein adducts, that are uniquely generated through peroxidation of docosahexaenoate and arachidonate-containing lipids respectively, and heme oxygenase-1 were detected immunocytochemically in cortical brain tissues and by ELISA in blood plasma. Significant immunoreactivity toward all three of these markers of oxidative damage in the white matter and often extending well into the grey matter of axons was found in every case of autism examined. This striking threadlike pattern appears to be a hallmark of the autistic brain as it was not seen in any control brain, young or aged, used as controls for the oxidative assays. Western blot and immunoprecipitation analysis confirmed neurofilament heavy chain to be a major target of CEP-modification. In contrast, in plasma from 27 autism spectrum disorder patients and 11 age-matched healthy controls we found similar levels of plasma CEP (124.5 ± 57.9 versus 110.4 ± 30.3 pmol/mL), isoLGE2 protein adducts (16.7 ± 5.8 versus 13.4 ± 3.4 nmol/mL), anti-CEP (1.2 ± 0.7 versus 1.2 ± 0.3) and anti-isoLGE2 autoantibody titre (1.3 ± 1.6 versus 1.0 ± 0.9), and no differences between the ratio of NO2Tyr/Tyr (7.81 E-06 ± 3.29 E-06 versus 7.87 E-06 ± 1.62 E-06). These findings provide the first direct evidence of increased oxidative stress in the autistic brain. It seems likely that oxidative injury of proteins in the brain would be associated with neurological abnormalities and provide a cellular basis at the root of autism spectrum disorders.
15. Oxidative Stress in Autism: Elevated Cerebellar 3-nitrotyrosine Levels
Elizabeth M. Sajdel-Sulkowska et al.
Am J Biochem Biotechn 4(2): 73-84 , 2008
It has been suggested that oxidative stress and/or mercury compounds play an important role in the pathophysiology of autism. This study compared for the first time the cerebellar levels of the oxidative stress marker 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT), mercury (Hg) and the antioxidant selenium (Se) levels between control and autistic subjects. Tissue homogenates were prepared in the presence of protease inhibitors from the frozen cerebellar tissue of control (n=10; mean age, 15.5 years; mean PMI, 15.5 hours) and autistic (n=9; mean age 12.1 years; mean PMI, 19.3 hours) subjects. The concentration of cerebellar 3-NT, determined by ELISA, in controls ranged from 13.69 to 49.04 pmol gˉ1 of tissue; the concentration of 3-NT in autistic cases ranged from 3.91 to 333.03 pmol gˉ1 of tissue. Mean cerebellar 3-NT was elevated in autism by 68.9% and the increase was statistically significant (p=0.045). Cerebellar Hg, measured by atomic absorption spectrometry ranged from 0.9 to 35 pmol gˉ1 tissue in controls (n=10) and from 3.2 to 80.7 pmol gˉ1 tissue in autistic cases (n=9); the 68.2% increase in cerebellar Hg was not statistically significant. However, there was a positive correlation between cerebellar 3-NT and Hg levels (r=0.7961, p=0.0001). A small decrease in cerebellar Se levels in autism, measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy, was not statistically significant but was accompanied by a 42.9% reduction in the molar ratio of Se to Hg in the autistic cerebellum. While preliminary, the results of the present study add elevated oxidative stress markers in brain to the growing body of data reflecting greater oxidative stress in autism.
16. Increased Copper-Mediated Oxidation of Membrane Phosphatidylethanolamine in Autism
Abha Chauhan et al.
Am J Biochem Biotech 4(2): 95-100 , 2008
We have previously reported that levels of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in the erythrocyte membrane and of ceruloplasmin, a copper-transport antioxidant protein, in the serum are lower in children with autism than in control subjects. In the present study, we report that (a) copper oxidizes and reduces the levels of membrane PE and (b) copper-mediated oxidation of PE is higher in lymphoblasts from autistic subjects than from control subjects. The effect of copper was examined on the oxidation of liposomes composed of brain lipids from mice and also on the lymphoblasts from autism and control subjects. Among the various metal cations (copper, iron, calcium, cadmium and zinc), only copper was found to oxidize and decrease the levels of PE. The metal cations did not affect the levels of other phospholipids. The action of copper on PE oxidation was time-dependent and concentration-dependent. No difference was observed between copper-mediated oxidation of diacyl-PE and alkenyl-PE (plasmalogen), suggesting that plasmalogenic and non-plasmalogenic PE are equally oxidized by copper. Together, these studies suggest that ceruloplasmin and copper may contribute to oxidative stress and to reduced levels of membrane PE in autism.
17. Risk of autistic disorder in affected offspring of mothers with a glutathione S-transferase P1 haplotype
Williams TA et al.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Apr;161(4):356-61.
OBJECTIVE: To test whether polymorphisms of the glutathione S-transferase P1 gene (GSTP1) act in the mother during pregnancy to contribute to the phenotype of autistic disorder (AD) in her fetus. DESIGN: Transmission disequilibrium testing (TDT) in case mothers and maternal grandparents. SETTING: Autistic disorder may result from multiple genes and environmental factors acting during pregnancy and afterward. Teratogenic alleles act in mothers during pregnancy to contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders in their offspring; however, only a handful have been identified. GSTP1 is a candidate susceptibility gene for AD because of its tissue distribution and its role in oxidative stress, xenobiotic metabolism, and JNK regulation. PARTICIPANTS: We genotyped GSTP1*G313A and GSTP1*C341T polymorphisms in 137 members of 49 families with AD. All probands received a clinical diagnosis of AD by Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic testing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Association of haplotypes with AD was tested by the TDT-Phase program, using the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm for uncertain haplotypes and for incomplete parental genotypes, with standard measures of statistical significance. RESULTS: The GSTP1*A haplotype was overtransmitted to case mothers (P = .01 [P = .03 using permutation testing]; odds ratio, 2.67 [95% confidence interval, 1.39-5.13]). Results of the combined haplotype and genotype analyses suggest that the GSTP1-313 genotype alone determined the observed haplotype effect. CONCLUSIONS: Overtransmission of the GSTP1*A haplotype to case mothers suggests that action in the mother during pregnancy likely increases the likelihood of AD in her fetus. If this is confirmed and is a result of a gene-environment interaction occurring during pregnancy, these findings could lead to the design of strategies for prevention or treatment.
18. GSTM1 and APE1 genotypes affect arsenic-induced oxidative stress: a repeated measures study.
Breton CV et al.
Environ Health. 2007 Dec 4;6:39.
BACKGROUND: Chronic arsenic exposure is associated with an increased risk of skin, bladder and lung cancers. Generation of oxidative stress may contribute to arsenic carcinogenesis. METHODS: To investigate the association between arsenic exposure and oxidative stress, urinary 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) was evaluated in a cohort of 97 women recruited from an arsenic-endemic region of Bangladesh in 2003. Arsenic exposure was measured in urine, toenails, and drinking water. Drinking water and urine samples were collected on three consecutive days. Susceptibility to oxidative stress was evaluated by genotyping relevant polymorphisms in glutathione-s transferase mu (GSTM1), human 8-oxoguanine glycosylase (hOGG1) and apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE1) genes using the Taqman method. Data were analyzed using random effects Tobit regression to account for repeated measures and 8-OHdG values below the detection limit. RESULTS: A consistent negative effect for APE1 was observed across water, toenail and urinary arsenic models. APE1 148 glu/glu + asp/glu genotype was associated with a decrease in logged 8-OHdG of 0.40 (95%CI -0.73, -0.07) compared to APE1 148 asp/asp. An association between total urinary arsenic and 8-OHdG was observed among women with the GSTM1 null genotype but not in women with GSTM1 positive. Among women with GSTM1 null, a comparison of the second, third, and fourth quartiles of total urinary arsenic to the first quartile resulted in a 0.84 increase (95% CI 0.27, 1.42), a 0.98 increase (95% CI 033, 1.66) and a 0.85 increase (95% CI 0.27, 1.44) in logged 8-OHdG, respectively. No effects between 8-OHdG and toenail arsenic or drinking water arsenic were observed. CONCLUSION: These results suggest the APE1 variant genotype decreases repair of 8-OHdG and that arsenic exposure is associated with oxidative stress in women who lack a functional GSTM1 detoxification enzyme.
19: GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphism influences protection against induced oxidative DNA damage by quercetin and ascorbic acid in human lymphocytes in vitro
Wilms LC, Claughton TA, de Kok TM, Kleinjans JC.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Dec;45(12):2592-6.
Antioxidants are of major importance in the protection against cellular oxidative damage caused by endogenous as well as exogenous free radicals. This study aims to establish the impact of genetic polymorphisms in GSTM1 and GSTT1, which encode for enzymatic antioxidative defence, on H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative DNA damage and on the effectiveness of quercetin and ascorbic acid in preventing this induced damage in human lymphocytes. Lymphocytes from 12 healthy volunteers were pre-incubated either with 10 microM of quercetin or with 10 microM of ascorbic acid, and exposed to 25 microM H(2)O(2) for 1h. The induction of oxidative DNA damage was quantified using the Comet assay. Genotyping of these 12 subjects showed that six individuals were GSTM1+ and six were GSTM1-; eight were GSTT1+ and four GSTT1-. RESULTS: Baseline levels of oxidative DNA damage did not differ between GSTM1 or GSTT1 variants and their respective wild types. Also with respect to ex vivo induced levels of oxidative DNA damage, no significant difference was seen between variants and wild types of both genotypes. The protection against H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative DNA damage by quercetin was significantly higher in GSTT1 wild types than in GSTT1 variants (57% and 9% decrease, respectively; p=0.01); furthermore, GSTT1 wild types were protected against induced oxidative DNA damage by ascorbic acid pre-incubation while GSTT1 variants showed an increase of damage (16% decrease vs. 91% increase; p=0.01). For GSTM1 variants and wild types, observed differences in protective effects of quercetin or ascorbic acid were not statistically significant. Overall, quercetin proves to be better in protecting human lymphocytes in vitro against oxidative DNA damage upon H(2)O(2) challenge than ascorbic acid.
20: Role of GSTT1 deletion in DNA oxidative damage by exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in humans
Garte S et al.
Int J Cancer. 2007 Jun 1;120(11):2499-503.
A useful approach for studies on the mechanisms of genetic variation in cancer susceptibility is to use intermediary biochemical endpoints with mechanistic relevance to the genes under study. We examined the effects of individual genotype at seven metabolic gene loci on a marker of oxidative DNA damage, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2-deoxyguanosine, in people exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) from three Central European cities. The GSTT1 homozygous deletion variant was associated with a significant protective effect for exposure to total PAHs and to eight specific PAHs, although the magnitude and significance of the effect varied among these compounds. Categorical sensitivity analysis was used to determine that the frequency of the GSTT1 deletion was significantly higher in people who proved to be more resistant to the DNA damaging effects of PAH exposure than in people who were the most sensitive. There is a growing literature on the protective effect of GSTT1 deletion in both disease and intermediary endpoints related to environmental carcinogenesis. The mechanism for this effect might be related to specific PAH substrate specificities, or could be related to other functions of GSTT1 gene in oxidative stress induced damage pathways.