TEM study of chronic alcoholism effects on early carcinogenesis by probing the nanoscale structural alterations of cell nuclei


Nanoscale structural alteration in the nuclei of cells with the progression of carcinogenesis is due to the rearrangements of the basic building blocks in the cell such as DNA, RNA, lipids, etc. Although epigenetic modifications underlie the development of cancer, exposure to carcinogenic chemicals such as alcohol also enhances the development of cancer. We report the effects of chronic alcoholism on early-carcinogenesis based on changes in the degree of nanoscale structural alterations (Ld) in nuclei. For this, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging of the nuclei of colonic cells is performed for the following four mouse models: control mice; chronic alcoholic mice treated with ethanol (i.e., EtOH mice); mice treated with colonic carcinogen azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) that induced colitis (i.e., AOM + DSS mice); and chronic alcoholic or EtOH treated mice, together with AOM and DSS treatment (i.e., AOM + DSS + EtOH mice). The disordered optical lattices are constructed from their respective TEM images of thin colonic cell nuclei and the Ld values are calculated using the inverse participation ratio (IPR) technique from the spatially localized eigenfunctions of these lattices. Results show no significant difference in the average Ld value of the colon cell nuclei of alcohol treated mice relative to its control [i.e., Ld(C) ∼ Ld(EtOH)]; however, an increase in the Ld value of alcohol treated precancerous cells [i.e., Ld(AOM + DSS + EtOH) > Ld(AOM + DSS)], indicating that alcohol accelerates the early carcinogenic process.

Publication Title

Physical Biology