Silica Induces Dna Strand Breaks

DNA strand break (DSB) is probably one of the earliest types of genetic damage that occurs in cells exposed to silica. Using the alkaline DNA unwinding and ethidium bromide fluorometric techniques, Vallyathan and colleagues showed that crystalline silica induced DSB of bovine DNA.86 Silica-induced DNA damage in alveolar macrophages assayed using a single-cell gel electrophoresis Comet assay showed that N-acetylcysteine increased intracellular glutathione levels and protected against DNA strand breaks by inhibiting silica-induced ROS formation.87 In addition, exposure of Rat (RLE) and human (A549) epithelial cells to DQ12 quartz causes ^OH radical-dependent DNA lesions in cells.88 These studies firmly document that silica causes DSBs, which are driven by ^OH-radical-generating properties of the particles.

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