Age-related influence on DNA damage, proteomic inflammatory markers and oxidative stress in hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to healthy controls

Agnes Draxler, Amelie Blaschke, Jessica Binar, Maria Weber, Michael Haslacher, Viktoria Bartak, Laura Bragagna, George Mare, Lina Maqboul, Rebecca Klapp, Theresa Herzog, Marton Széll, Agnese Petrera, Brenda Laky, Karl-Heinz Wagner, Rainer Thell

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


COVID-19 infections are accompanied by adverse changes in inflammatory pathways that are also partly influenced by increased oxidative stress and might result in elevated DNA damage. The aim of this case-control study was to examine whether COVID-19 patients show differences in oxidative stress-related markers, unconjugated bilirubin (UCB), an inflammation panel and DNA damage compared to healthy, age-and sex-matched controls. The Comet assay with and without the treatment of formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG) and H 2O 2 challenge was used to detect DNA damage in whole blood. qPCR was applied for gene expression, UCB was analyzed via HPLC, targeted proteomics were applied using Olink® inflammation panel and various oxidative stress as well as clinical biochemistry markers were analyzed in plasma. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients (n = 48) demonstrated higher serum levels of 55 inflammatory proteins (p < 0.001), including hs-C-reactive protein levels (p < 0.05), compared to healthy controls (n = 48). Interestingly, significantly increased age-related DNA damage (%-DNA in tail) after formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG) treatment was measured in younger (n = 24, average age 55.7 years; p < 0.05) but not in older COVID-19 patients (n = 24, average age 83.5 years; p > 0.05). Although various oxidative stress markers were not altered (e.g., FRAP, malondialdehyde, p > 0.05), a significant increased ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione was detected in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy controls (p < 0.05). UCB levels were significantly lower in individuals with COVID-19, especially in younger COVID-19 patients (p < 0.05). These results suggest that COVID-19 infections exert effects on DNA damage related to age in hospitalized COVID-19 patients that might be driven by changes in inflammatory pathways but are not altered by oxidative stress parameters.

FachzeitschriftRedox biology
Frühes Online-Datum2023
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Nov. 2023

ÖFOS 2012

  • 303009 Ernährungswissenschaften