Elevated DNA damage in a mouse model of oxidative stress: impacts of ionizing radiation and a protective dietary supplement
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Transgenic growth hormone (Tg) mice express elevated free radical processes and a progeroid syndrome of accelerated ageing. We examined bone marrow cells of Tg mice and their normal (Nr) siblings for three markers of DNA damage and assessed the impact of free radical stress using ionizing radiation. We also evaluated the radiation protection afforded by a dietary supplement that we previously demonstrated to extend longevity and reduce cognitive ageing of Nr and Tg mice. Spectral karyotyping revealed few spontaneous chromosomal aberrations in Nr or Tg. Tg mice, however, had significantly greater constitutive levels of both gammaH2AX and 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) compared to Nr. When exposed to a 2-Gy whole-body dose of ionizing radiation, both Nr and Tg mice showed significant increases in DNA damage. Compared to Nr mice, irradiated Tg mice had dramatically higher levels of gammaH2AX foci and double the levels of chromosomal aberrations. In unirradiated mice, the dietary supplement significantly reduced constitutive gammaH2AX and 8-OHdG in both Nr and Tg mice (normalizing both gammaH2AX and 8-OHdG in Tg), with little difference in gammaH2AX and 8-OHdG over constitutive levels. Induced chromosomal aberrations were also reduced, and in Nr mice, virtually absent. Remarkably, supplemented mice expressed 6-fold lower levels of radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations compared to unsupplemented Nr or Tg mice. Based on our data, the dietary supplement appeared to scavenge free radicals before they could cause damage. This study validates Tg mice as an exemplary model of oxidative stress and radiation hypersensitivity and documents unprecedented radioprotection by a dietary supplement comprised of ingredients available to the general public.
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