BCL-2/J(H) rearrangement has been proposed as a biomarker for evaluating the genotoxicity of occupational and environmental exposures. Available data on time-related modification of this rearrangement in peripheral blood lymphocytes in unexposed healthy individuals is scarce. We investigated the characteristics of BCL-2/J(H) rearrangements in 33 adults unexposed to genotoxins at 2 seasonal time points: winter and spring. BCL-2/J(H) rearrangement was detected in 79% of individuals (detection limit = 8.48 x 10(-8)). Its frequency ranged from <1 to 40 translocations per million lymphocytes with a significant (p = 0.04) positive correlation with age. No significant modifications of BCL-2/J(H) rearrangement frequency or in the number of clones harboring this rearrangement were observed according the 2 time points. No obvious influence of season-related environmental factors on frequency or molecular features of BCL-2/J(H) rearrangements was found in this population suggesting that this would not be a confounding factor.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.