H Frei

ETH Zurich, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

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Publications (21)51.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The wing somatic mutation and recombination test (SMART) using Drosophila melanogaster was employed to determine the recombinagenic and mutagenic activity of four chemicals in an in vivo eukaryotic system. Two different crosses involving the wing cell markers mwh and flr(3) were used: the standard cross and a high bioactivation cross. The high bioactivation cross is characterized by a high constitutive level of cytochromes P450 which leads to an increased sensitivity to a number of promutagens and procarcinogens. Three-day-old larvae derived from both crosses were treated chronically with the oxidizing agent potassium chromate and with the three procarcinogens cyclophosphamide, p-dimethylaminoazobenzene and 9,10-dimethylanthracene. From both crosses two types of progeny were obtained: marker-heterozygous and balancer-heterozygous. The wings of both genotypes were analysed for the occurrence of single and twin spots expressing the mwh and/or flr(3) mutant phenotypes. In the marker-heterozygous genotype the spots can be due either to mitotic recombination or to mutation. In contrast, in the balancer-heterozygous genotype only mutational events lead to spot formation, all recombination events being eliminated. The oxidizing agent potassium chromate was equally and highly genotoxic in both crosses. Surprisingly, the promutagen cyclophosphamide also showed equal genotoxicity in both crosses, whereas p-dimethylaminoazobenzene was negative in the standard cross, but clearly genotoxic in the high bioactivation cross. 9,10-Dimethylanthracene showed a rather weak genotoxicity in the high bioactivation cross. Analyses of the dose-response relationships for mwh clones recorded in the two wing genotypes demonstrated that all four compounds are recombinagenic. The fraction of all genotoxic events which are due to mitotic recombination ranged from 83% (9,10-dimethylanthracene) to 99% (p-dimethylaminoazobenzene). These results demonstrate that the wing spot test in Drosophila is most suited to the detection of recombinagenic activity of genotoxic chemicals.
    Mutagenesis 10/2001; 16(5):385-94. · 3.50 Impact Factor
  • Frei H, Graf U, Wurgler F.E
    Toxicology Letters 06/1998; 95:43-43. · 3.15 Impact Factor
  • Toxicology Letters - TOXICOL LETT. 01/1998; 95:43-43.
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    H Frei, F E Würgler
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the vicinal chloroalcohols 1,3-dichloro-2-propanol (DC2P), 3-chloro-1,2-propanediol (3CPD) and 2-chloro-1,3-propanediol (2CPD) were investigated for genotoxicity in the wing spot test of Drosophila. DC2P is an important starting material in many processes of synthesis in chemical industry. 3CPD as well as some related glycerol chlorohydrins were identified in protein hydrolysates industrially used for the production of food items such as seasonings, sauces and soups. The wing spot test is a somatic mutation and recombination test (SMART) and is a sensitive in vivo assay for the detection of mutagens and promutagens. The test was applied here in its standard version with normal bioactivation and in a variant with increased cytochrome P450-dependent bioactivation capacity. All three compounds were clearly non-genotoxic in these in vivo assays. The results are in agreement with recent findings which strongly suggest that positive genotoxicity results in in vitro testing of vicinal chloroalcohols such as DC2P are due to directly acting genotoxic intermediates arising from a chemical reaction with the culture medium rather than from enzymatic biotransformation.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 12/1997; 394(1-3):59-68. · 3.90 Impact Factor
  • H. Frei, F.E. Wurgler
    Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis 01/1997; 394(1). · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    H Frei, F E Würgler
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    ABSTRACT: Four inhibitors of eukaryotic topoisomerases were investigated for genotoxic effects in the wing spot test of Drosophila melanogaster. As a somatic mutation and recombination test (SMART) this assay assesses mitotic recombination and mutational events of various kinds. We studied camptothecin as a topoisomerase I inhibitor, as well as ellipticine as an intercalating inhibitor and teniposide and etoposide as two non-intercalating inhibitors of topoisomerase II. Wing spots were induced in flies trans-heterozygous for the recessive wing cell markers multiple wing hairs (mwh) and flare (flr3) as well as in flies heterozygous for mwh and the multiply inverted TM3 balancer chromosome. All four compounds proved significantly genotoxic in this test. The spot induction frequencies formally standardized to the millimolar unit of exposure dose decreased in the order camptothecin > teniposide > ellipticine greater, similar etoposide in the mwh/flr3 inversion-free genotype. In the mwh/TM3 genotype, in which mitotic crossing over is suppressed because of the inversion-heterozygosity, the observed spot frequencies were considerably reduced, but to different extents. In this genotype, spot induction by ellipticine was not statistically significant, and it was determined that >99% of the spots are due to mitotic recombination in mwh/flr3 flies. For the other compounds, spot induction in the inversion-heterozygous genotype was significant. The relative contribution of recombination to total spot induction in the inversion-free genotype was 88% for camptothecin. It was significantly lower for the two epipodophyllotoxins teniposide (71%) and etoposide (59%). Only suggestions can be proffered at present as to how these proportions could be related to the primary damage produced by the respective compounds on the chromosomes.
    Mutagenesis 07/1996; 11(4):315-25. · 3.50 Impact Factor
  • H. Frei, F. E. Würgler
    Mutation Research/Environmental Mutagenesis and Related Subjects 01/1996; 360(3):289-290.
  • H Frei, F E Würgler
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    ABSTRACT: In genetic toxicology it is important to know whether chemicals should be regarded as clearly hazardous or whether they can be considered sufficiently safe, which latter would be the case from the genotoxicologist's view if their genotoxic effects are nil or at least significantly below a predefined minimal effect level. A previously presented statistical decision procedure which allows one to make precisely this distinction is now extended to the question of how optimal experimental sample size can be determined in advance for genotoxicity experiments using the somatic mutation and recombination tests (SMART) of Drosophila. Optimally, the statistical tests should have high power to minimise the chance for statistically inconclusive results. Based on the normal test, the statistical principles are explained, and in an application to the wing spot assay, it is shown how the practitioner can proceed to optimise sample size to achieve numerically satisfactory conditions for statistical testing. The somatic genotoxicity assays of Drosophila are in principle based on somatic spots (mutant clones) that are recovered in variable numbers on individual flies. The underlying frequency distributions are expected to be of the Poisson type. However, some care seems indicated with respect to this latter assumption, because pooling of data over individuals, sexes, and experiments, for sample, can (but need not) lead to data which are overdispersed, i.e., the data may show more variability than theoretically expected. It is an undesired effect of overdispersion that in comparisons of pooled totals it can lead to statistical testing which is too liberal, because overall it yields too many seemingly significant results. If individual variability considered alone is not in contradiction with Poisson expectation, however, experimental planning can help to minimise the undesired effects of overdispersion on statistical testing of pooled totals. The rule for the practice is to avoid disproportionate sampling. It is recalled that for optimal power in statistical testing, it is preferable to use equal total numbers of flies in the control and treated series. Statistical tests which are based on Poisson expectations are too liberal if there is overdispersion in the data due to excess individual variability. In this case we propose to use the U test as a non-parametric two-sample test and to adjust the estimated optimal sample size according to (i) the overdispersion observed in a large historical control and (ii) the relative efficiency of the U test in comparison to the t test and related parametric tests.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 05/1995; 334(2):247-58. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sixteen pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) were examined for their genotoxic potency in the wing spot test of Drosophila melanogaster following oral application. This in vivo assay tests for the induction of somatic mutation and mitotic recombination in cells of the developing wing primordia. All PAs tested except the C9-monoester supinine were clearly genotoxic. Depending on their chemical structure, however, genotoxicity of the PAs varied widely in a range encompassing about three orders of magnitude. In general, macrocyclic diester-type PAs were the most and 7-hydroxy C9-monoester types the least genotoxic representatives studied, while open diesters were intermediate in this respect. Stereoisomeric PAs mostly showed similar, but sometimes also clearly unequal genotoxicity. An increasing number of hydroxy groups in the PA molecule seemed to reduce its genotoxic potency. With respect to the structure/activity relationships, there appears to be a good correlation between hepatotoxicity of PAs in experimental rodents and genotoxicity in the wing spot test of Drosophila. This suggests that PAs are bioactivated along similar pathways in the mammalian liver and in the somatic cells of Drosophila. The genotoxic potential of PAs in the Drosophila wing spot test and their carcinogenic potential in mammals also seem correlated, although the information in the literature on carcinogenicity of the non-macrocyclic PAs with moderate to low genotoxic potency is concededly limited. Comparisons with other genotoxicity tests suggest that the wing spot test is particularly suitable for genotoxins like PAs, on the one hand because of the versatile metabolic bioactivation system of Drosophila and on the other hand also because of its excellent sensitivity to the crosslinking agents among the genotoxins.
    Chemico-Biological Interactions 07/1992; 83(1):1-22. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The novel antineoplastic drug mitoxantrone was studied for its genotoxic effects in Drosophila melanogaster. In male germ cells, the clinical preparation Novantrone, the dihydrochloride salt of mitoxantrone, did not induce sex-linked recessive lethal mutations in feeding and injection experiments with adult flies, although statistically the results were inconclusive rather than truly negative. However, the free base mitoxantrone was weakly, but significantly genotoxic in this test (0.14% lethals/mM exposure concentration); this is most probably the result of prolonged exposure. On the other hand, both forms of mitoxantrone assayed were clearly genotoxic in the somatic mutation and recombination test of the wing. This test assays the cells of the proliferating imaginal wing discs of larvae. Depending on the feeding method used, the overall clone induction frequency was in the range of about 2-6 x 10(-5) per cell and cell generation and per mM exposure dose. Correction of these frequencies according to mean clone size led to slightly higher estimates (by about 5-25% higher). Although the majority of the clone induction events are due to mitotic recombination, a significant proportion can be attributed to mutational events (gene and chromosome mutations). The genotoxicity of mitoxantrone seems to depend mainly on impaired DNA synthesis in cycling cells owing to the compound's ability to inhibit topoisomerase II by intercalation into DNA.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 06/1992; 279(1):21-33. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Six rodent carcinogens, 5 of which are also human carcinogens, and 6 compounds recognized as non-carcinogens were tested for their genotoxic activity in the Drosophila melanogaster wing spot test. 72-h-old larvae trans-heterozygous for the recessive wing cell markers 'multiple wing hairs' (mwh) and 'flare' (flr3) were fed various concentrations of the test compounds for a period of 48 h. With amitrole and 4-aminobiphenyl, larvae of the same age were also given an acute treatment of 6 h with higher concentrations, and, in addition, 48-h-old larvae were fed for a longer period of 72 h. Repeats of all experiments document the good reproducibility of the results in the wing spot test. Amitrole and 4-aminobiphenyl were genotoxic after both 48-h and 72-h treatments, but their activity could not be detected following acute exposure of only 6 h. Chlorambucil and melphalan were clearly genotoxic. The carcinogens sodium arsenite and sodium arsenate, however, which are highly toxic to Drosophila, could only be tested at low exposure levels and were negative under these treatment conditions. The 6 non-carcinogens (ascorbic acid, 2-aminobiphenyl, mannitol, piperonyl butoxide, stannous chloride and titanium dioxide) were all definitely non-genotoxic in the Drosophila wing spot test. The data for the non-carcinogens demonstrate that non-genotoxic compounds can be identified in the wing spot test with a reasonable experimental effort.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 12/1990; 242(3):169-80. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Drosophila wing somatic mutation and recombination test (SMART) was evaluated for its suitability in genotoxicity screening by testing 30 chemicals. Of the 2 crosses used, the mwh-flr3 cross turned out to be more convenient than the previously used mwh-flr cross. Based on the experience gained with both acute exposures and chronic exposures of different duration, we suggest that the optimal strategy in genotoxicity screening is to start with chronic exposure of 3-day-old larvae for 48 h (that is, until pupation). Only for unstable compounds and very volatile compounds and gases are acute treatments, including inhalation, recommended. In general, a qualitative evaluation of the genotoxicity of a compound in the wing assay is possible with as few as 1-2 different exposure concentrations. A more quantitative evaluation of genotoxicity, based upon dose-response data, can often be achieved with as few as 3-4 concentrations. The results reported here were obtained in 2 different laboratories, demonstrating that the wing spot test is easily transferable to other laboratories. The experience gained indicates that the assay has now been developed to an extent that a coordinated international comparative validation study is desirable.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 05/1989; 222(4):359-73. · 3.90 Impact Factor
  • H Frei, F E Würgler
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    ABSTRACT: Two alternative hypotheses are used to distinguish among the possibilities of a positive, inconclusive, or negative result in Drosophila mutagenicity tests. In the null hypothesis one assumes that there is no difference in the mutation frequency between control and treated series. The alternative hypothesis postulates a priori that the treatment results in an increased mutation frequency that is m times the spontaneous frequency. To test against the hypotheses, the conditional binomial test according to Kastenbaum and Bowman or the chi 2 test for proportions may be applied. These 2 methods are in principle equivalent. An alternative method which is based on determining confidence limits of observed mutation frequencies also leads to the same conclusions. The practical calculations are formulated and an application is shown with a test example demonstrating the genotoxicity of the pyrrolizidine alkaloid 7-acetylintermedine in the somatic wing mosaic test. In the Appendix, the calculus for the 3 testing methods is explained with a numerical example.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 09/1988; 203(4):297-308. · 3.90 Impact Factor
  • H FREI, F WURGLER
    Mutation Research/Environmental Mutagenesis and Related Subjects 01/1987; 182(5):280-280.
  • Mutation Research/Environmental Mutagenesis and Related Subjects 08/1986; 164(4):291–292.
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    ABSTRACT: Aristolochic acid (AA) has been tested for genotoxic activity in three different assays with Drosophila melanogaster (i-iii). AA induced sex-linked recessive lethals (i) and chromosome losses (ii) in male germ cells. In a newly developed fast assay with somatic cells of larvae (iii), AA induced mutant single spots as well as twin spots. The data indicate that in addition to the mutagenic activity, AA also possesses recombinogenic activity leading to somatic recombination in mitotically active cells. The experimental labor involved to detect the genotoxic activity of AA was lowest with the somatic cell assay.
    Archive für Toxikologie 02/1985; 56(3):158-66. · 5.22 Impact Factor
  • F E Würgler, H Frei
    Basic life sciences 02/1985; 34:373-81.
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    ABSTRACT: A novel test system for the detection of mutagenic and recombinogenic activity of chemicals is described in detail. Drosophila melanogaster larvae trans-heterozygous for the mutations multiple wing hairs (mwh) and flare (flr) are exposed to the test compounds for various periods of time ranging from 96 hr to 1 hr. Induced mutations are detected as single mosaic spots on the wing blade of surviving adults that show either the multiple wing hairs or flare phenotype. Induced recombination leads to mwh and flr twin spots and also to a certain extent, to mwh single spots. Recording of the frequency and the size of the different spots allows for a quantitative determination of the mutagenic and recombinogenic effects. This and earlier studies with a small set of well-known mutagens indicate that the test detects monofunctional and polyfunctional alkylating agents (ethyl methanesulfonate, diepoxybutane, mitomycin C, Trenimon), mutagens forming large adducts (aflatoxin B1), DNA breaking agents (bleomycin), intercalating agents (5-aminoacridine, ICR-170), spindle poisons (vinblastine), and antimetabolites (methotrexate). In addition, the test detects mutagens unstable in aqueous solution (beta-propiolactone), gaseous mutagens (1,2-dibromoethane), as well as promutagens needing various pathways of metabolic activation (aflatoxin B1, diethylnitrosamine, dimethylnitrosamine, mitomycin C, and procarbazine). The rapidity and ease of performance as well as the low costs of the test necessitate a high priority for validation of this promising Drosophila short-term test.
    Environmental Mutagenesis 02/1984; 6(2):153-88.
  • H JUON, H FREI, U GRAF, F WURGLER
    Mutation Research/Environmental Mutagenesis and Related Subjects 01/1984; 130(3):211-211.
  • Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 01/1984; 122(3-4):321-8. · 3.90 Impact Factor