Toxicity of Tobacco-Related Aldehydes in Cultured Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells
NATIONAL CANCER INST BETHESDA MD
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One approach to the problem of extrapolating experimental animal data to humans is the development of in vitro model systems using human tissues and cells. Among more than 6,000 identified components in tobacco smoke, several reactive and volatile aldehydes are found in the gaseous phase and are of interest because of their potential carcinogenicity in the human respiratory tract. In particular, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde are present in amounts ranging from micrograms to mg per cigarette. Such aldehydes possess a carbonyl-related high affinity for nucleophilic sites in cellular macromolecules. We investigated effects of these aldehydes on different biological parameters including colony survival, clonal growth, cross-linked envelope formation, content of cellular thiols, and DNA damage, i.e., DNA-single strand breaks SSB and DNA-protein crosslinks DPC, in cultured human bronchial epithelial cells. The potency of these aldehydes to cause different cyto- and genotoxic effects is compared and discussed.