The use of comet assay in measuring DNA damage and repair efficiency in child, adult, and old age populations
In the present study, we used the Comet assay to estimate basal DNA damage in three distinct populations aged 5-10, 40-50, and 60-70 years old. The DNA damage induced by hydrogen peroxide and gamma-irradiation in the lymphocytes of these populations, as well as their repair activity, was also studied. Finally, we measured apoptosis and necrosis after the effect of these agents. Our results indicate that the older population (60-70 years old) showed higher basal levels of DNA damage and was more sensitive to the effects of the DNA-damaging agents than the adult one (40-50 years old), who, in turn, was more sensitive than the younger population (5-10 years old). A decline of the repair efficiency with age to the DNA damage induced by the two agents was also observed. Apoptosis and necrosis were also affected by age.