Indexed on: 25 Mar '11Published on: 25 Mar '11Published in: Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Results from previous studies suggest that alcohol consumption can be genotoxic on peripheral lymphocytes. The aim of our study was to examine the association of alcohol consumption and its genotoxic effect on hematopoietic stem cells in vivo.We investigated 156 healthy Japanese males in a cross-sectional study. Lifestyles, including alcohol drinking behavior and cigarette smoking status, were investigated by means of a self-completed questionnaire. Polymorphisms of ADH1B and ALDH2 were identified by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. The presence of micronuclei in transferrin-positive reticulocytes (MN-RET) was detected with a single-laser flow cytometer. Associations between the genetic polymorphisms, lifestyle factors, and MN-RET frequency were statistically analyzed.We found a significant difference in the mean frequencies of MN-RET between habitual drinkers and non-habitual drinkers (P = 0.043), and between the ALDH2*1/*1 and ALDH2*2/*2 genotype (P = 0.015). The ADH1B*2 and ALDH2*2 haplotype was estimated to have a significantly higher influence on MN-RET frequency than the ADH1B*2 and ALDH2*1 haplotype (P = 0.00035), and the frequency of alcohol consumption played a significant role in MN-RET frequency on the background of the ADH1B*2 and ALDH2*1 haplotype (P = 0.012).The results of our study suggest a possible association between the ADH1B and ALDH2 polymorphism and the genotoxic effects of alcohol drinking on hematopoietic stem cells.