Ex vivo assessment of lymphocyte antioxidant status using the comet assay

Free Radic Res. 1997 Nov;27(5):533-7. doi: 10.3109/10715769709065793.


Lymphocytes were isolated from volunteers before and after receiving a single supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E or beta-carotene. The lymphocytes were treated with H2O2, and DNA strand breaks were measured by single cell gel electrophoresis (the comet assay). Significant protection against oxidative DNA damage was evident 2-4 h after vitamin C intake, and 18-24 h after consumption of the other antioxidants. Lymphocytes from smokers were more sensitive to DNA damage than those from non-smokers, and they showed at least as great a protective effect with antioxidants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Cell Separation
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Smoking / blood
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage
  • beta Carotene / administration & dosage


  • Antioxidants
  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin E
  • Ascorbic Acid