Biopolym. Cell. 2017; 33(1):24-33.
Experimental and human population studies of DNA lesions in healthy individuals
1, 2Sjakste N.
  1. Institute of Biology
    University of Latvia
    3, Miera Str., Salaspils, Latvia, LV-2169
  2. Faculty of Medicine,
    University of Latvia
    1a, Sharlotes Str., Riga, Latvia, LV-1001


DNA damage is a valuable biomarker in human molecular epidemiology being associated with many diseases. However, the level of DNA damage is influenced also by intrinsic features of healthy individuals: heredity, sex, age and body type. This review summarizes data on DNA breakage level in healthy humans depending on their characteristics and compares these data with experimental studies and observations on animals. Several strains of laboratory animals manifest an increased level of DNA breaks. In humans, some gene polymorphisms are associated with an increased level of DNA damage; however it is believed that environmental factors are more important. In animals, a higher level of DNA breakage is usually detected in males. In humans, data on the role of gender are contradictory and depend on origin. Experimental models provide evidence of increased levels of single- and double-strand breaks in obese animals. Although human studies are less convincing, an increase of double-strand breaks appears to be a more reproducible feature of DNA of overweight persons. Data on single-strand DNA breaks in aged persons are contradictory, but double strand breaks evidently increase with age.
Keywords: DNA breaks, aging, gender, obesity


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