Telomere shortening associated with increased levels of oxidative stress in sulfur mustard-exposed Iranian veterans

Behravan, Effat, Moallem, Seyed Adel, Kalalinia, Fatemeh, Ahmadimanesh, Mahnaz, Blain, Peter, Jowsey, Paul, Khateri, Shahriar, Forghanifard, Mohammad Mahdi and BalaliMood, Mahdi (2018) Telomere shortening associated with increased levels of oxidative stress in sulfur mustard-exposed Iranian veterans. Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, 834. pp. 1-5. ISSN 1383-5718

43EFAE1D-7440-4028-9693-EA462A2FE801.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (481kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Sulfur Mustard (SM) is the most widely used chemical weapon. It was used in World War 1 and in the more recent Iran-Iraq conflict. Genetic toxicity and DNA alkylation effects of SM in molecular and animal experiments are well documented. In this study, lymphocytic telomere lengths and serum levels of isoprostane F2α were measured using q-PCR and enzyme immunoassay-based methods in 40 Iranian veterans who had been exposed to SM between 1983-88 and 40 non-exposed healthy volunteers. The relative telomere length in SM-exposed individuals was found to be significantly shorter than the non-exposed individuals. In addition, the level of 8-isoprostane F2α was significantly higher in the SM-exposed group compared to controls. Oxidative stress can be caused by defective antioxidant responses following gene mutations or altered activities of antioxidant enzymes. Chronic respiratory diseases and infections may also increaseoxidative stress. The novel finding of this study was a the identification of ‘premature ageing phenotype’. More specifically, telomere shortening which occurs naturally with aging is accelerated in SM-exposed individuals. Oxidative stress, mutations in DNA repair genes and epimutaions may be among the major mechanisms of telomere attrition. These findings may help for a novel therapeutic strategy by telomere elongation or for validation of an exposure biomarker for SM toxicity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Telomere shortening, Sulfur mustard, Oxidative stress
Subjects: C400 Genetics
C900 Others in Biological Sciences
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 15:58
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 17:51

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics