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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(10), 10003-10015; doi:10.3390/ijerph111010003

Genomic Instability in Human Lymphocytes from Male Users of Crack Cocaine

1
Medical Genetics Service, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS 90035-903, Brazil
2
Health Science Institute, Feevale University, RS 239, Novo Hamburgo, RS 93352-000, Brazil
3
Center for Drug and Alcohol Research, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre and Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS 90035-903, Brazil
4
Laboratório de Pesquisas em Câncer, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS 90035-903, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2014 / Revised: 25 August 2014 / Accepted: 28 August 2014 / Published: 26 September 2014
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Abstract

Recent research suggests that crack cocaine use alters systemic biochemical markers, like oxidative damage and inflammation markers, but very few studies have assessed the potential effects of crack cocaine at the cellular level. We assessed genome instability by means of the comet assay and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus technique in crack cocaine users at the time of admission to a rehabilitation clinic and at two times after the beginning of withdrawal. Thirty one active users of crack cocaine and forty control subjects were evaluated. Comparison between controls and crack cocaine users at the first analysis showed significant differences in the rates of DNA damage (p = 0.037). The frequency of micronuclei (MN) (p < 0.001) and nuclear buds (NBUDs) (p < 0.001) was increased, but not the frequency of nucleoplasmic bridges (NPBs) (p = 0.089). DNA damage decreased only after the end of treatment (p < 0.001). Micronuclei frequency did not decrease after treatment, and nuclear buds increased substantially. The results of this study reveal the genotoxic and mutagenic effects of crack cocaine use in human lymphocytes and pave the way for further research on cellular responses and the possible consequences of DNA damage, such as induction of irreversible neurological disease and cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: crack cocaine; drug withdrawal; DNA damage; comet assay; micronucleus crack cocaine; drug withdrawal; DNA damage; comet assay; micronucleus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Freitas, T.A.B.; Palazzo, R.P.; de Andrade, F.M.; Reichert, C.L.; Pechansky, F.; Kessler, F.; de Farias, C.B.; de Andrade, G.G.; Leistner-Segal, S.; Maluf, S.W. Genomic Instability in Human Lymphocytes from Male Users of Crack Cocaine. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 10003-10015.

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