For the first time, researchers
in India have found that mice and rats exposed to endosulphan suffer from DNA
damage and genomic instability, and impaired DNA damage response. The results
published on August 4 in the journal, Carcinogenesis, by a team of researchers
led by Prof. Sathees Raghavan from the Department of Biochemistry, IISc,
Bengaluru show that endosulfan — an organochlorine pesticide — induces breaks in
DNA strands and disturbs the damage response mechanism found in cells thus
leading to compromised DNA strand repair. The team found mice and rats exposed
to endosulfan generated reactive oxygen species, a potent DNA damaging agent.
The reactive oxygen species, in turn, caused DNA damage in the form of breaks
in DNA strands. The broken DNA strands generally tend to repair themselves by
rejoining. But endosulfan treatment was found to cause “extensive processing of
broken DNA” leading to increased and long deletion in the strands.