Effects of ochratoxin A on DNA evaluatedin vitro with the single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet assay).
ABSTRACT In cell cultures of Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, the mycotoxin ochratoxin A (OTA) induced single strand breaks (ssb) in a concentration dependent manner detected with the single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet assay). When an external metabolizing enzyme system (S9-mix from rat liver) was added, this genotoxic effect was significantly stronger. By addition of methotrexate (MT), a substrate of the hepatic organic anion transporter, the effect of OTA can be completely blocked at concentrations >100 μM methotrexate.When DNA repair was inhibited by addition of cytosine arabinose (araC) and hydroxyurea (HU), the tail length in the Comet assay increased dramatically and all treated cells showed ssb. A further culture of the damaged cells in the absence of any supplement resulted in a complete repair of the damaged DNA within three hours.Compared with MDCK cells, primary cultured porcine urinary bladder epithelial cells (PUBECs) showed weaker effects in the Comet assay if treated with OTA. The presence of S9-mix did not significantly enhance the response. Methotrexate only partially reduced the OTA-induced effects, because in PUBECs methotrexate induced ssb at high concentrations. If DNA repair was inhibited, also in PUBECs clearly more ssb were induced by OTA, an effect which was reversible.These results demonstrate that OTA induces single strand breaks in vitro. The damaged DNA can be repaired more effectively in primary cultured epithelial cells (PUBECs) compared to cells of a cell line (MDCK cells). By competitive inhibition of OTA uptake, DNA damage can be prevented with suitable substrates.