Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 140-144

New evidence on iron, copper accumulation and zinc depletion and its correlation with DNA integrity in aging human brain regions

1 Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Central Food and Technological Research Institute, Mysore -570 020, India
2 Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Central Food and Technological Research Institute, Mysore -570 020, India; and Department of Neurosciences, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, 21205, USA
3 Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, JSS University, Mysore - 570 004, India
4 Department of Anatomy, JSS Medical College, JSS University, Mysore, India
5 Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India
6 Department of Forensic Science, JSS Medical College, JSS University, Mysore, India

Correspondence Address:
T S Sathyanarayana Rao
Department of Psychiatry, JSS medical College and Hospital, JSS University, Mysore - 570 004, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.64590

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Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) conformation and stability play an important role in brain function. Earlier studies reported alterations in DNA integrity in the brain regions of neurological disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. However, there are only limited studies on DNA stability in an aging brain and the factors responsible for genomic instability are still not clear. In this study, we assess the levels of Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe) and Zinc (Zn) in three age groups (Group I: below 40 years), Group II: between 41-60 years) and Group III: above 61 years) in hippocampus and frontal cortex regions of normal brains. The number of samples in each group was eight. Genomic DNA was isolated and DNA integrity was studied by nick translation studies and presented as single and double strand breaks. The number of single strand breaks correspondingly increased with aging compared to double strand breaks. The strand breaks were more in frontal cortex compared to hippocampus. We observed that the levels of Cu and Fe are significantly elevated while Zn is significantly depleted as one progresses from Group I to Group III, indicating changes with aging in frontal cortex and hippocampus. But the elevation of metals was more in frontal cortical region compared to hippocampal region. There was a clear correlation between Cu and Fe levels versus strand breaks in aging brain regions. This indicates that genomic instability is progressive with aging and this will alter the gene expressions. To our knowledge, this is a new comprehensive database to date, looking at the levels of redox metals and corresponding strand breaks in DNA in two brain regions of the aging brain. The biological significance of these findings with relevance to mental health will be discussed.



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