Oxidative stress, DNA damage and repair in heart failure patients after implantation of continuous flow left ventricular assist devices

Int J Med Sci. 2013 May 20;10(7):883-93. doi: 10.7150/ijms.6219. Print 2013.


Objective: To study the status of oxidative stress and DNA damage repair in circulating blood leukocytes of heart failure patients supported by continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs).

Materials and methods: Ten HF patients implanted with LVAD as bridge to transplant or destination therapy were enrolled in the study and 10 age and sex matched volunteers were recruited as the study control. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) in blood leukocytes and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in erythrocytes were measured by flow cytometry/immunofluorescence microscopy and spectrophotometry, respectively. ELISA was used to measure oxidized low density lipoproteins (oxLDL) in plasma. Markers of DNA damage (γ-H2AX) and repairs (Mre11, DNA ligase IV, Ku70, and Ku80) were quantified in blood lymphocytes by immunocytochemistry.

Results: Levels of ROS and oxLDL were significantly higher in HF patients with LVAD than baseline as well as the control group; moreover, SOD levels were decreased with increasing post-operative periods. All the changes indicated enhanced oxidative stress among LVAD recipients. Significantly higher γ-H2AX foci in lymphocytes confirmed DNA double strand breaks in LVAD recipients. γ-H2AX foci numbers in lymphocytes were positively correlated with the ROS and oxLDL and negatively with SOD levels (p<0.0001). Expressions of DNA ligase IV, Ku70 and Ku80 proteins were highest after one week and Mre11 protein after 3 months of LVAD transplantation; indicated abnormal DNA repair.

Conclusions: The study, for the first time shows that, continuous flow LVAD implanted HF patients not only exhibit elevated oxidative stress and DNA damage in blood leukocytes but also have abnormalities in DNA repair pathways.

Keywords: DNA damage; DNA repair.; heart failure; left ventricular assist device; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / genetics
  • Heart Failure / metabolism
  • Heart Failure / surgery*
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Superoxide Dismutase