Research Portfolio

Funding Opportunities

Join our Mailing List
Join our mailing list to be notified of new funding opportunities.

Your Email

To receive information about funding opportunities, events, and program updates.

Oxidative damage to sperm DNA: smoking and diet interaction

Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Investigator(s): Bruce Ames, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 1998 (Cycle 7) Grant #: 7RT-0178 Award: $155,135
Subject Area: General Biomedical Science
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Several studies indicate that children of men who smoke, but not women who smoke, have an increased risk of childhood cancer. We have previously shown that men who smoke may damage (mutate) the DNA of their sperm. Mutations in sperm DNA arises from paternal exposure to nitrogen oxides (mutagenic oxidants in cigarette smoke) and is prevented by the intake of vitamins E and C, which are dietary antioxidants. Smoking markedly decreases the levels of these antioxidants in the body. Despite the need to eat better diets, smokers tend to eat nutritionally poorer diets than do non-smokers, and therefore smokers do not normally eat enough of these antioxidant vitamins. Furthermore, men generally have lower blood levels of vitamin C than women. Thus, all cells in the body (including sperm) of men who smoke are at risk for oxidative damage caused by cigarette smoke. We will look at specific damage to sperm cell membranes, proteins and DNA. We will then measure the extent of sperm damage with respect to the amount of smoking and antioxidant dietary deficiencies.