Genotoxicity and DNA adduct formation of incense smoke condensates: Comparison with environmental tobacco smoke condensates

Chien Chung Chen, Huei Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

42 Scopus citations


Indoor air pollution has now been recognized as a potentially important problem for public health, since people spend most of their day in closed environments, Incense burning is possibly associated with elevated risks of leukemia and brain tumor in children from the epidemiological studies. Thus, evaluation of the genotoxicity of smoke condensates from incense burning is needed, We examined the genotoxicity of incense smoke condensates (ISC) using the Ames test in S. typhimurium strains with different mutagenic specificity and level of metabolic enzyme, the SOS chromotest in E. coli PQ37, and sister chromatid exchange assay in Chinese hamster ovary cells (SCE/CHO). The genotoxicity of environmental tobacco smoke condensates (TSC) was also evaluated by the three assays to compare with the genotoxicity of ISC. ISC showed a positive response in TA98, but not in TA100. It suggested that ISC only contained frame shift mutagens. The mutagenicity of ISC in both strains of TA98NR with deficient nitroreductase and TA98/1,8-DNP6 with deficient O-acetyltransferase was markedly decreased compared to that in TA98 strain. However, the mutagenicity was enhanced in YG1024 with overexpression of O-acetyltransferase activity, Thus, nitroarenes seemed to be responsible in part for the mutagenicity of ISC. Interestingly, all of the four ISC and two TSC samples showed a dose-dependent genotoxic response in the SOS chromotest with E. coli PQ37 but a low SCE induction of those samples were observed in CHO cells. When the genotoxicity was analyzed based on the condensates per one gram of original samples, the genotoxicity of two TSC condensates in prokaryotic cells was higher than that of four ISC samples except for the genotoxicity of TSC-2 in TA98 strain. However, the genotoxicity of certain ISC in eukaryotic cells based on the SCE/CHO assay was higher than that of TSC. To compare the covalent binding of DNA reactive intermediates of ISC and TSC to S. typhimurium TA98, the DNA adducts were evaluated by the 32P-postlabeling method with butanol extraction version. Similar diagonal radioactive zone (DRZ) was observed between ISC and CSC. However, DNA adduct levels induced by TSC were much greater than that of ISC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-114
Number of pages10
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA adduct
  • Genotoxicity
  • Incense smoke condensate


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