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  • Author: Nevenka Kopjar x
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This year we turn 70! Lucky for journals, they don’t get old with volumes. In our case, quite the opposite. The idea of this editorial, however, is not to look so far back but to share with you – our readers and authors – where we see Archives in the years to come.

Antineoplastični Lijekovi Kao Čimbenik Rizika u Radnom Okolišu: Mehanizmi Djelovanja na Razini Stanice i Pregled Metoda za Otkrivanje Njihovih Genotoksičnih Učinaka

U članku je prikazana osnovna podjela antineoplastičnih lijekova prema mehanizmima djelovanja na razini stanice. Objašnjeni su mehanizmi genotoksičnosti najvažnijih vrsta lijekova koji se primjenjuju u okviru uobičajenih protokola za liječenje zloćudnih novotvorina. Navedena je važeća klasifikacija antineoplastika prema kancerogenom potencijalu, podaci o mutagenom potencijalu te je prikazana njihova podjela u skladu s anatomsko-terapijsko-kemijskim sustavom klasifikacije. Sustavno su prikazani najvažniji rezultati svjetskih i hrvatskih istraživanja na populacijama radnika izloženih antineoplasticima, provedenih u razdoblju 1980.-2009. s pomoću četiri najčešće primjenjivane metode: analize izmjena sestrinskih kromatida, analize kromosomskih aberacija, mikronukleus-testa i komet-testa. Objašnjena su osnovna načela navedenih metoda te raspravljene njihove prednosti i nedostaci. Biološki pokazatelji daju važne podatke o individualnoj osjetljivosti profesionalno izloženih ispitanika koji mogu poslužiti unaprjeđenju postojećih uvjeta rada i upravljanju rizicima pri izloženosti genotoksičnim agensima. Na osnovi prednosti i nedostataka citogenetičkih metoda zaključeno je da je mikronukleus-test, koji podjednako uspješno dokazuje klastogene i aneugene učinke, jedna od najboljih metoda dostupnih za otkrivanje štetnih djelovanja antineoplastičnih lijekova koji su u aktivnoj primjeni.

Radioprotective Effects of Quercetin and Ethanolic Extract of Propolis in Gamma-Irradiated Mice

The aim of this study was to assess radioprotective effects of quercetin and the ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) in CBA mice exposed to a single radiation dose 4 Gy (60Co). The mice were treated with 100 mg kg-1 quercetin or EEP a day for three consecutive days either before (pre-treatment) or after gamma-irradiation (therapy). Leukocyte count was determined in blood drawn from the tail vein, and DNA damage in leukocytes was assessed using the alkaline comet assay. Genotoxic effects of the test compunds were also evaluated in non-irradiated mice. The levels of radioprotection provided by both test compounds were compared with those established in mice that were given chemical radioprotector S-(2-Aminoethy1)isothiouronium bromide hydrobromide (AET). Mice that received pre-treatment were less sensitive to irradiation. Mice given the post-irradiation therapy showed a slight but not significant increase in total leukocyte count over irradiated negative control. Quercetin showed better protective properties than EEP in both pre-treatment and therapy, and activated a higher number of leukocytes in non-irradiated mice. The alkaline comet assay suggests that both natural compounds, especially when given as pre-treatment, protect against primary leukocyte DNA damage in mice. At tested concentrations, EEP and quercetin were not genotoxic to non-irradiated mice. AET, however, caused a slight but not significant increase in DNA damage. Although the results of this study show the radioprotective potential of the test compounds, further investigation is needed to clarify the underlying protection mechanisms.

Assessment of Tryptophol Genotoxicity in Four Cell Lines In Vitro: A Pilot Study with Alkaline Comet Assay

Tryptophol is an aromatic alcohol and secondary metabolite of the opportunistic fungus Candida albicans. Although its toxicity profile at cell level has been poorly investigated, recent data point to cytotoxic, cytostatic, and genotoxic effects in lymphocytes and the induction of apoptosis in leukaemic blood monocytes. In this pilot study we evaluated the genotoxicity of tryptophol in vitro on four permanent cell lines of animal and human origin: ovary cells, alveolar epithelium, liver cells, and blood monocytes using the alkaline comet assay. We selected cells that might be principal targets of tryptophol and other low-molecular geno(toxins) secreted by Candida albicans during host invasion. Our results suggest that tryptophol applied in vitro at 2 mmol L-1 for 24 h damages DNA in HepG2, A549 and THP-1 cells, obviously due to bioactivation and/or decomposition of the parent compound, which results in the formation of more genotoxic compound(s) and production of reactive species that additionally damage DNA. On the other hand, notably lower levels of primary DNA damage were recorded in CHO cells, which lack metabolic activity. Future studies with tryptophol should look further into mechanisms involved in its toxic action and should focus on other cell types prone to infection with Candida spp. such as vaginal epithelial cells or keratinocytes of human origin.


This study investigated the mechanisms of hydroquinone toxicity and assessed the relationships between its cytotoxic, genotoxic, and cytogenetic effects tested at 8, 140, and 280 μg mL-1 in human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed for 24 h. The outcomes of the treatments were evaluated using the apoptosis/necrosis assay, the alkaline comet assay, and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) cytome assay. The tested hydroquinone concentrations produced relatively weak cytotoxicity in resting lymphocytes, which mostly died via apoptosis. Hydroquinone’s marked genotoxic effects were detected using the alkaline comet assay. Significantly decreased values of all comet parameters compared to controls indicated specific mechanisms of hydroquinone-DNA interactions. Our results suggest that the two higher hydroquinone concentrations possibly led to cross-linking and adduct formation. Increased levels of DNA breakage measured following exposure to the lowest concentration suggested mechanisms related to oxidative stress and inhibition of topoisomerase II. At 8 μg mL-1, hydroquinone did not significantly affect MN formation. At 140 and 280 μg mL-1, it completely blocked lymphocyte division. The two latter concentrations also led to erythrocyte stabilization and prevented their lysis. At least two facts contribute to this study’s relevance: (I) this is the first study that quantifies the degree of reduction in total comet area measured in lymphocyte DNA after hydroquinone treatment, (II) it is also the first one on a lymphocyte model that adopted the “cytome” protocol in an MN assay and found that lymphocytes exposure even to low hydroquinone concentration resulted in a significant increase of nuclear bud frequency. Considering the limitations of the lymphocyte model, which does not possess intrinsic metabolic activation, in order to unequivocally prove the obtained results further studies using other appropriate cell lines are advised.


Olive leaf extract is characterized by a high content of polyphenols (oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol and their derivatives), which is associated with its therapeutic properties. The objective of the present research was to evaluate the antifungal activity of olive leaf extract against Candida albicans ATCC 10231 and C. dubliniensis CBS 7987 strains. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the extract were determined by several in vitro assays. The extract showed a concentration depended effect on the viability of C. albicans with MIC value of 46.875 mg mL-1 and C. dubliniensis with MIC value 62.5 mg mL-1. Most sensitive methods for testing the antifungal effect of the extracts were the trypan blue exclusion method and fluorescent dye exclusion method while MIC could not be determined by the method according to the EUCAST recommendation suggesting that herbal preparations contain compounds that may interfere with this susceptibility testing. The fluorescent dye exclusion method was also used for the assessment of morphological changes in the nuclei of treated cells. According to the obtained results, olive leaf extract is less effective against the tested strains than hydroxytyrosol, an olive plant constituent tested in our previous study.


This study investigates antioxidant capacity and protective effects of phenolic compounds oleuropein (OLP) and hydroxytyrosol (HT), present in olive oil and olive leaves, against H2O2-induced DNA damage in human peripheral lymphocytes. Antioxidant potency was determined using the measurement of radical-scavenging activity (ABTS∙+ assay), ferric reducing power (FRAP assay) and cupric reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC assay). Both substances were found to be potent antioxidant agents due to their free radical-scavenging activities. Antigenotoxic effects of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol against H2O2-induced damage in human lymphocytes were evaluated in vitro by alkaline comet assay. At tested concentrations (1, 5, 10 µmol L−1), oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol did not induce a significant increase of primary DNA damage in comparison with the negative control. Pretreatment of human lymphocytes with each of the substances for 120 min produced a dose-dependent reduction of primary DNA damage in the tested cell type. Hydroxytyrosol showed a better protective effect against H2O2-induced DNA breaks than oleuropein which could be associated with their free radical-scavenging efficacy.

Normalne i granične vrijednosti mikronukleus-testa na limfocitima periferne krvi u ispitanika opće populacije Republike Hrvatske

Mikronukleus (MN) test na limfocitima periferne krvi jedna je od najvažnijih metoda koje se primjenjuju u citogenetičkom nadzoru. Osnovni preduvjet za primjenu nekog testa u svrhu nadzora profesionalno izloženih populacija jest poznavanje normalnih vrijednosti promatranoga biološkog pokazatelja (biomarkera) u kontrolnoj populaciji. Baze podataka na razini opće populacije moraju se redovito obnavljati novim podacima. Cilj ovog istraživanja bio je utvrditi normalne i granične vrijednosti MN-testa na limfocitima periferne krvi 200 zdravih ispitanika obaju spolova iz opće populacije Republike Hrvatske te ispitati koji čimbenici pridonose spontanom nastanku MN. Na razini istražene populacije utvrđeno je prosječno (6,90±3,32) MN (medijan 7 MN), dok je raspon pojedinačnih vrijednosti iznosio 0 do 18 MN u 1000 binuklearnih stanica. Gornja granična vrijednost dobivena izračunavanjem 95. percentila za cjelokupnu promatranu populaciju iznosi 12,5 MN na 1000 limfocita. Utvrđeno je da na spontani nastanak MN utječu spol, dob i navika pušenja. Žene u prosjeku imaju više vrijednosti svih parametara MN-testa od muškaraca, a u njih je bio i naglašeniji porast vrijednosti citogenetičkog nalaza zbog navike pušenja. Kako su literaturni podaci o utjecaju pušenja cigareta na nastanak MN kontradiktorni, planiran je nastavak istraživanja radi razjašnjavanja utjecaja dnevno utrošenog broja cigareta i ukupnog trajanja pušačkog staža na vrijednosti parametara MN-testa. Usporedba rezultata s literaturnim podacima potvrdila je da su dobivene vrijednosti u skladu s vrijednostima MN-testa zabilježenim na općoj populaciji u drugim svjetskim laboratorijima. Normalne i granične vrijednosti MN-testa utvrđene u ovome istraživanju poslužit će kao osnova za usporedbu i tumačenje nalaza MN-testa u ispitanika izloženih populacija te daljnju nadogradnju laboratorijske baze podataka.