DNA damage in a human population affected by chronic psychogenic stress
AuthorDimitroglou, E.; Zafiropoulou, M.; Messini-Nikolaki, N.; Doudounakis, S.; Tsilimigaki, S.; Piperakis, S. M.
The effects of chronic psychogenic stress on the expression of DNA damage and cellular response to the damage were investigated. Using the comet assay, basal DNA damage was found to be similar in lymphocytes of both affected and non-affected Populations (n = 30 in both groups). The induction of DNA damage in lymphocytes by external factors (H2O2 and gamma-irradiation), was also investigated. In these Studies, cells were treated with 50, 100 and 150 muM H2O2 for 5 minutes or with 0.8, 2.5 and 4.2 Gy gamma-rays. A significant difference was found between the chronically stressed and the control populations, indicating the enhanced sensitivity of the former population. Cells were also held for 2 hours after the treatment, allowing time for the cells to deal with the induced DNA damage. Based on the level of residual DNA strand breaks, cells from the stressed population had more breaks than the controls. Gender does not alter these findings. In conclusion, our data indicate that cells from the stressed population were more sensitive to the induction of DNA damage and had higher level of residual damage. Therefore, stress conditions may cause the affected individuals to be susceptible to environmental mutagenic agents.