Biomarkers of exposure and effect in human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells following [13C2]-acetaldehyde exposure

Benjamin Moeller, Leslie Recio, Amanda Green, Wei Sun, Fred A. Wright, Wanda M. Bodnar, James A. Swenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The dose-response relationship for biomarkers of exposure (N2-ethylidene-dG adducts) and effect (cell survival and micronucleus formation) was determined across 4.5 orders of magnitude (50nM- 2mM) using [13C2]-acetaldehyde exposures to human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells for 12 h. There was a clear increase in exogenous N2-ethylidene-dG formation at exposure concentrations ≥ 1μM, whereas the endogenous adducts remained nearly constant across all exposure concentrations, with an average of 3.0 adducts/107 dG. Exogenous adducts were lower than endogenous adducts at concentrations ≤ 10μM and were greater than endogenous adducts at concentrations ≥ 250μM. When the endogenous and exogenous adducts were summed together, statistically significant increases in total adduct formation over the endogenous background occurred at 50μM. Cell survival and micronucleus formation were monitored across the exposure range and statistically significant decreases in cell survival and increases in micronucleus formation occurred at ≥ 1000μM. This research supports the hypothesis that endogenously produced reactive species, including acetaldehyde, are always present and constitute the majority of the observed biological effects following very low exposures to exogenous acetaldehyde. These data can replace default assumptions of linear extrapolation to very low doses of exogenous acetaldehyde for risk prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetaldehyde
  • Biomarker of effect
  • Biomarker of exposure
  • DNA adduct
  • Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Micronucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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