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Association between plasma BPDE-Alb adduct concentrations and DNA damage of peripheral blood lymphocytes among coke oven workers
  1. Hong Wang1,3,
  2. Weihong Chen1,
  3. Hongyan Zheng1,
  4. Liang Guo2,
  5. Huashan Liang2,
  6. Xiaobo Yang1,
  7. Yun Bai1,
  8. Jianya Sun2,
  9. Yougong Su2,
  10. Yongwen Chen1,
  11. Jing Yuan1,
  12. Yongyi Bi3,
  13. Qingyi Wei1,
  14. Tangchun Wu1
  1. 1
    Institute of Occupational Medicine and The Ministry of Education Key Lab for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  2. 2
    Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Taiyuan Steel and Iron Limited Co, Taiyuan, China
  3. 3
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
  1. Professor T Wu, Institute of Occupational Medicine, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Hangkong Road 13, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China; wut{at}


Objectives: Coke oven emissions COE containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs can induce both benzoapyrene-r-7, t-8, t-9,c-10-tetrahydotetrol-albumin BPDE-Alb adducts and DNA damage. However, the relation between these biomarkers for early biological effects is not well documented in coke oven workers.

Methods: In this study, the authors recruited 207 male workers exposed to COE and 102 controls not exposed to COE in the same steel plant in northern China. They measured BPDE-Alb adduct concentrations in plasma with reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography and DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes with alkaline comet assay.

Results: The results showed that the median concentration of BPDE-Alb adducts in the exposed group 34.36 fmol/mg albumin was significantly higher than that in the control group 21.90 fmol/mg albumin, p0.012. The mean Olive tail moment Olive TM of DNA damage in the exposed and control groups were 1.20 and 0.63, respectively p0.000. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the odds ratio OR for BPDE-Alb adduct and Olive TM associated with the exposure were 1.72 95 CI 1.06 to 2.81 and 1.96 95 CI 1.20 to 3.19, respectively. These results show significant correlations between the concentrations of BPDE-Alb adduct and Olive TM levels in exposed group r0.235, p0.001 but not in control group r0.093, p0.353.

Conclusion: The results suggest that occupational exposure to COE may induce both BPDEAlb adducts and DNA damage in the lymphocytes of coke oven workers and that these two markers are useful for monitoring exposure to COE in the workplace.

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  • Ethics approval: The research protocol was approved by the Ethics and Human Subject Committee of Tongji Medical College.

  • Funding: This study was partly supported by National Key Basic Research and Development Program of China (No 2002CB512905) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No 30371204 and 30525031).

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    BPDE-Alb adduct
    benzoapyrene-r-7, t-8, t-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol-albumin adduct
    coke oven emissions
    International Agency for Research on Cancer
    Olive TM
    Olive tail moment
    polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons