Comparative studies by comet test and SCE analysis in human lymphocytes from 200 healthy subjects

Mutat Res. 1995 Jul;343(4):201-7. doi: 10.1016/0165-1218(95)90015-2.


The comet test (single cell gel electrophoresis, SCGE) appears to be a promising tool to estimate DNA damage at the single cell level and it provides information on the presence of damage among individual cells. Previously, we analyzed the degree of DNA damage in peripheral human lymphocytes from 100 healthy subjects living in Pisa (Italy) taking into account age, gender and smoking habit, and we also reported some results aiming at the assessment of the comet test (Betti el al., 1994). In addition, SCE analysis was carried out in order to compare the two endpoints. Because of the interesting results obtained, the present study was extended to 200 individuals, and data analyzed included information concerning number of cigarettes smoked a day, tar/cigarette and job. Data obtained confirmed that the SCGE is more sensitive than SCE in revealing smoking habit effects but comet induction did not seem to be related to the amount of cigarette tar inhaled. Moreover, sampling time was found to play a greater role in the comet assay as compared to SCE. Job position did not significantly influence SCE mean/subject or comet length mean/subject.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • DNA Damage*
  • Demography
  • Electrophoresis / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange*
  • Smoking