Environmental toxicology and pharmacology

Organic extracts of coke oven emissions can induce genetic damage in metabolically competent HepG2 cells.

PMID 24709322


Coke oven emissions (COEs) containing various carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) represent the coal-burning pollution in the air. Organic pollutants in the aerosol and particulate matter of COEs were collected from the bottom, side, and top of a coke oven. The Comet assay and cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay were conducted to analyze the genetic damage of extractable organic matter (EOM) of COEs on HepG2 cells. All the three EOMs could induce significant dose-dependent increases in Olive tail moment, tail DNA, and tail length, micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridges, and nuclear buds frequencies, which were mostly positively correlated with the total PAHs concentration in each EOM. In conclusion, EOMs of COEs in the three typical working places of coke oven can induce DNA strand breaks and genomic instability in the metabolically competent HepG2 cells. The PAHs in EOMs may be important causative agents for the genotoxic effects of COEs.