Hydrogen peroxide induces DNA single strand breaks in respiratory epithelial cells

Ruth J McDonald, Lester C. Pan, Judith A St George, Dallas M. Hyde, Jonathan M Ducore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The respiratory epithelium is often exposed to oxidant gases, including ozone from photochemical smog and toxic oxygen metabolites released from neutrophils recruited in conditions of airway inflammation. We evaluated DNA single strand break formation by alkaline elution as a measure of oxidant-induced DNA damage to bronchial epithelial cells. Human AdenoSV-40-transformed bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS), subclone R1.4 or nonhuman primate bronchial epithelial cells were cultured in growth factor supplemented Ham's F12 medium on polycarbonate filters. DNA was labeled by incubation with [3H]thymidine. Cells were incubated for 1 h in HBSS or HBSS and increasing concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Cells incubated in H2O2 demonstrated dose-dependent increases in strand break formation, and BEAS cells were more sensitive to H2O2-induced injury than primary bronchial epithelial cells. The addition of catalase or preincubation of cells with the iron chelator desferoxamine prevented H2O2-induced strand breakage. DNA strand break formation may be an important mechanism of oxidant injury in respiratory epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-722
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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