DNA adducts are both exposure and biological response indicators. Their detection indicates that the individual has been exposed to the chemical and shows toxicological consequences of that exposure. DNA adducts lead to mutations or toxicity if they are present during DNA replication.
Advantages of DNA adduct measurements include their potential direct relevance to toxicological consequences, their relatively long persistence in many cases, and the high specificity and sensitivity with which they can be quantified using state-of-the-art mass spectrometric techniques. This is particularly relevant for volatile toxicants, to which exposures may be transient and variable.
DNA damage can be measured by quantifying DNA adducts with highly-sensitive liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) assays. The DNA adduct assays are well validated with respect to accuracy and precision. All assays have embedded positive and negative controls.
DNA adducts can be measured in DNA from a variety of sources, including oral cells, blood, and formalin-fixed tissues. Assays for specific DNA adducts require 1-50 μg of DNA. Some DNA adducts require that the DNA be extracted from the source according to specific protocols to prevent artifacts or the decomposition of the DNA adducts during the isolation process.
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