Whole-blood cultures of human lymphocytes were exposed in the G2-phase (3.5 h before harvesting) to various doses of X-rays and post-treated for 3 h with inhibitors of DNA synthesis. The inhibitors used were 2'-deoxyadenosine (dAdo), hydroxyurea (HU) and 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (ara-C). To prevent deamination of dAdo by adenosine deaminase (ADA), the dAdo treatments were carried out in the presence of the ADA inhibitor coformycin. HU and Ara-C were used either alone or in combination. After the 3-h inhibitor treatments, the cultures were harvested and slides prepared and analyzed for chromatid aberrations in metaphase. When the inhibitors were used at concentrations high enough to cause marked chromosome damage by themselves, very low doses of X-rays (0.025-0.2 Gy) were sufficient to produce a dramatic increase in the frequency of chromatid aberrations. High frequencies of chromatid aberrations were also obtained when cultures that had received moderate doses of X-rays (0.4-0.8 Gy) were post-treated with low inhibitor concentrations that produce no or only a few aberrations by themselves.
The initial yields of DNA-to-protein crosslinks (dpc) caused by ionizing and nonionizing radiations were compared, with emphasis upon values within the biological dose ranges (D0). Induction of dpc in cold (0-0.5 degrees C) human P3 teratocarcinoma cells was measured by using alkaline elution techniques after exposure to monochromatic UVC (254 nm), UVB (313 nm), UVA (365 and 405 nm), and blue light (434 nm). UVC and UVB light induced detectable numbers (about 100 dpc per cell per D0). Monochromatic UVA radiations produced yields about 8 times higher than UVC or UVB (for 365 nm, about 1500 dpc per cell per D0) Similar results at low doses were obtained for measurements of single-strand breaks induced by the different radiations. The action spectra for dpc were closely similar. The biological significance of these relatively high numbers of DNA lesions caused by environmental nonionizing radiation that readily penetrates into human skin is not understood.
The study of DNA damage at the chromosome level is an essential part of genetic toxicology because chromosomal mutation is an important event in carcinogenesis. The micronucleus assays have emerged as one of the preferred methods for assessing chromosome damage because they enable both chromosome loss and chromosome breakage to be measured reliably. Because micronuclei can only be expressed in cells that complete nuclear division a special method was developed that identifies such cells by their binucleate appearance when blocked from performing cytokinesis by cytochalasin-B (Cyt-B), a microfilament-assembly inhibitor. The cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay allows better precision because the data obtained are not confounded by altered cell division kinetics caused by cytotoxicity of agents tested or sub-optimal cell culture conditions. The method is now applied to various cell types for population monitoring of genetic damage, screening of chemicals for genotoxic potential and for specific purposes such as the prediction of the radiosensitivity of tumours and the inter-individual variation in radiosensitivity. In its current basic form the CBMN assay can provide, using simple morphological criteria, the following measures of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity: chromosome breakage, chromosome loss, chromosome rearrangement (nucleoplasmic bridges), cell division inhibition, necrosis and apoptosis. The cytosine-arabinoside modification of the CBMN assay allows for measurement of excision repairable lesions. The use of molecular probes enables chromosome loss to be distinguished from chromosome breakage and importantly non-disjunction in non-micronucleated binucleated cells can be efficiently measured. The in vitro CBMN technique, therefore, provides multiple and complementary measures of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity which can be achieved with relative ease within one system. The basic principles and methods (including detailed scoring criteria for all the genotoxicity and cytotoxicity end-points) of the CBMN assay are described and areas for future development identified.
Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is a common disease in the south part of China, and its incidence is increasing in the southwest of China in recent years. Radiation therapy is the main therapeutic method for NPC in China. In this study, genetic changes were assessed in randomly selected nine NPC patients receiving radiation therapy by different genotoxical screening methods, the cytokinesis-block micronucleus test (CB-MNT), the buccal mucosa cell micronucleus test (BMC-MNT), the undivided lymphocyte micronucleus test (UL-MNT), chromosomal aberration (CA) test, the comet assay and the hprt gene mutation test (HPRT). Patients were used as self-control before receiving radiation therapy. Apart from the UL-MNT, all the methods detected genetic damages in NPC patients, though with different sensitivities. CB-MNT is the best biological indicator for evaluating genetic damage induced by radiation therapy in NPC patients; followed by CA and HPRT, while the BMC-MNT is simplest method as a potential biological indicator.
Currently, the cosmetics industry relies on the results of in vitro genotoxicity tests to assess the safety of chemicals. Although the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) test for the detection of cells that have divided once is routinely used and currently accepted by regulatory agencies, it has some limitations. Reconstituted human epidermis (RHE) is widely used in safety assessments because its physiological properties resemble those of the skin, and because it allows testing of substances such as hydrophobic compounds. Thus, the micronucleus test is being adapted for application in RHE-reconstructed tissues. Here we investigated whether two different reconstructed epidermis models (EPI/001 from Straticell, and RHE/S/17 from Skinethic) are suitable for application of the micronucleus test. We found that acetone does not modify micronucleus frequency, cell viability, and model structure, compared with non-treated RHE. Treatment of the EPI/001 model with mitomycin C and vinblastine resulted in a dose-dependent increase of micronucleus frequency as well as a decrease of tissue viability and of binucleated cell rate, while no changes of the epidermal structure were observed. The number of binucleated cells obtained with the RHE/S/17 model was too small to permit micronucleus testing. These results indicate that the proliferative rate of the tissue used is a critical parameter in performing the micronucleus test on a 3D model.
This report describes a model for producing quantitative genetic risk assessments for human populations. The model is patterned after current methods used in cancer risk analysis. The risk to humans is expressed as the number of additional dominant genetic diseases added to the existing genetic burden, in the offspring of the exposed individuals.
Cell fractions including heat-treated cells, crude cell walls, intracellular extracts and exopolysaccharides (EPSs) obtained from Lactobacillus casei 01 were first studied for their effects on the proliferation of human intestinal epithelial cells, intestine 407 and the human colon cancer cell, HT-29. Their effects on the cytotoxicity of 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO) against intestine 407 were further investigated. The results revealed that EPS exhibited the highest antiproliferation activity on HT-29 cells while the viability of intestine 407 cells was not affected by EPS at a concentration of 5-50μg/mL. It was also noted that all the cell fractions and EPS from L. casei 01 reduced the cytotoxicity of 4-NQO against intestine 407 with EPS showing the highest anticytotoxic activity. Additionally, it was found that EPS might exert blocking and bioanticytotoxic effects by both adjusting the function of intestine 407 and repairing the 4-NQO-damaged cells, thus reducing cytotoxicity of 4-NQO.
In this study, we expanded the use of the genus Tradescantia to investigate the plant activation of promutagens and further refine the methodology of the plant cell/microbe coincubation assay. Liquid suspension cell cultures of Tradescantia clone 03 and Tradescantia clone 4430 were used to activate the promutagen m-phenylenediamine into a mutagenic compound which was detected by Salmonella typhimurium strain TA98 in the plant cell/microbe coincubation assay. Optimum treatment parameters were established for both plant cell lines. Optimum was defined as the lowest concentration or shortest time period that provided consistently positive results and high rates of revertants. Preliminary experiments with both cell lines defined 2.5 mumoles m-phenylenediamine per plate as the optimum concentration to be used in the determination of the optimal coincubation period and the optimal concentration of plant cells. These experiments also determined the optimal physiological stage at which both clones should be used in the coincubation assay. Differences were found in the optimal of coincubation (1h for clone 03, 2 h for clone 4430) and growth stage (mid-log for clone 03, mid- to late-log for clone 4430). Similar activation responses were seen for both clones when the concentration of plant cells (mg/ml) was varied. Under optimized conditions, clone 03 cells demonstrated an approximately 10% higher activation response than clone 4430.
The modes of genotoxicity of a novel macromolecular antitumor antibiotic (SN-07) were examined using both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells in vitro. The antibiotic induced a frameshift-type reverse mutation in Ames Salmonella typhimurium TA98 at 1.6-400 ng/plate with and without S9 mix. SN-07 also induced chromosomal aberrations and a forward mutation (6-TGr) in Chinese hamster V79 cells after 1 h treatment at 12.5-100 ng/ml without metabolic activation. The alkaline elution technique revealed that SN-07 induced interstrand DNA cross-linking dose-dependently after treatment with 2.5-10 micrograms/ml for 1 h followed by elution at pH 12.1, but it did not induce the dose-dependent cross-linking after the same treatment followed by elution at pH 12.6. It was also found that SN-07 induced single-strand DNA breaks (pH 12.1) and alkali-labile (pH 12.6) sites after treatment with 0.1-10 micrograms/ml for 1 h followed by 24-h post-incubation.
The reproduction of phage T7 in the presence of hydroxylamine (HA) (mutagenesis in vivo) results in the phenotypic suppression of some amber mutants. The presence of O-methylhydroxylamine (OMHA) results in a similar effect, indicating a similar mechanism for the action of the two compounds. Since the rate of reaction of mutagen with nucleoside residues under these conditions in negligibly low, one of the most plausible explanations of this effect is the enzymic formation of modified precursors and their incorporation into bacterial tRNAs or phage-induced RNA.
Seven different recombinant bioluminescent strains of Escherichia coli containing, respectively, the promoters katG and soxS (responsive to oxidative damage), recA (DNA damage), fabA (membrane damage), grpE, and rpoE (protein damage) and lac (constitutive expression) fused to the bacterial operon from Photorhabdus luminescens, were used to describe the mechanism of toxicity of 1,1-dimethylhydrazine (1,1-DMH) on bacteria, as well as to determine whether bacteria can sensitively detect the presence of this compound. A clear response to 1,1-DMH was observed only in E. coli carrying the katG'::lux, soxS'::lux, and recA'::lux-containing constructs. Preliminary treatment with catalase of the medium containing 1,1-DMH completely diminished the stress-response of the P(katG), P(recA), and P(soxS) promoters. In the strain E. coli (pXen7), which contains a constitutive promoter, the level of cellular toxicity caused by the addition of 1,1-DMH was dramatically reduced in the presence of catalase. It is suggested that the action of 1,1-DMH on bacterial cells is determined by hydrogen peroxide, which is formed in response to reduction of the air oxygen level.
1,1-Dichloropropene (1,1-DCPe) is a contaminant of some source waters used to make drinking water. Because of this and the fact that no toxicological data were available for this compound, which is structurally similar to the rodent carcinogen 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-DCPe), 1,1-DCPe was placed on the Contaminant Candidate List of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Consequently, we have performed a hazard characterization of 1,1-DCPe by evaluating its mutagenicity in the Salmonella assay and its DNA damaging (comet assay) and apoptotic (caspase assay) activities in human lymphoblastoid cells. In Salmonella, 1,1-DCPe was not mutagenic in strains TA98, TA100, TA1535, or TA104 +/-S9 mix. However, it was clearly mutagenic in strain RSJ100, which expresses the rat GSTT1-1 gene. 1,1-DCPe did not induce DNA damage in GSTT1-1-deficient human lymphoblastoid cells, and it induced apoptosis in these cells only at 5 mM. Consistent with its mutagenesis in RSJ100, 1,1-DCPe reacted with glutathione (GSH) in vitro, suggesting an addition-elimination mechanism to account for the detected GSH conjugate. 1,1-DCPe was approximately 5000 times more mutagenic than its ethene congener 1,1-dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE or vinylidene chloride). Neither 1,1-DCE nor 1,3-DCPe showed enhanced mutagenicity in strain RSJ100, indicating a lack of activation of these congeners by GSTT1-1. Thus, 1,1-DCPe is a base-substitution mutagen requiring activation by GSTT1-1, possibly involving the production of a reactive episulfonium ion. This bioactivation mechanism of 1,1-DCPe is different from that of its congeners 1,1-DCE and 1,3-DCPe. The presence of 1,1-DCPe in source waters could pose an ecological or human health risk. Occurrence data for 1,1-DCPe in finished drinking water are needed to estimate human exposure to, and possible health risks from, this mutagenic compound.
The mutagenic effect of 1,1-dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) was studied in the liver perfusion/cell culture system. Male Wistar rats, fed a selenium-deficient diet with or without selenium supplementation in the drinking water, were used as liver donors. UDMH caused an increased mutation frequency in Chinese hamster V79 cells exposed in the perfusate. The effect was statistically significant with both selenium-deficient and selenium-supplemented livers. With selenium-deficient livers, a significant mutagenic effect was also obtained when V79 cells were treated with bile collected after the administration of UDMH. Bile flow and bile acid excretion were not affected by UDMH treatment of selenium-deficient or selenium-supplemented livers. There was a tendency towards reduced C-oxygenation of N,N-dimethylaniline in microsomes from selenium-deficient livers perfused with UDMH. The lactate/pyruvate ratio in the perfusate was increased by UDMH, the effect being more pronounced with selenium-deficient than selenium-supplemented livers.
1,1-Dichloropropene (1,1-DCP) is a contaminant present in both ground and surface waters used as sources for drinking water. Structural similarity to several compounds with known mutagenicity and carcinogenicity, and recent demonstration of mutagenicity in vitro, suggest this compound may be similarly mutagenic in vivo. A transgenic fish model, the lamda transgenic medaka, was used to evaluate the potential mutagenicity of this contaminant in vivo following sub-chronic exposure for 6 weeks. Mutant frequencies of the cII target gene (MF) increased six-fold in the livers of fish exposed to the lowest 1,1-DCP exposure concentration (0.44 mg/L, MF = 18.4 x 10(-5), and increased with each treatment, culminating in a 32-fold induction in fish from the highest 1,1-DCP treatment (16.60 mg/L, MF = 96.3 x 10(-5). Mutations recovered from treated fish showed a distinctive mutational spectrum comprised predominantly of +1 frameshift mutations, induced 166-fold above that of untreated animals. The majority of frameshifts were +1 insertions at thiamine and adenine. These results represent the first evidence of mutagenicity of 1,1-DCP in vivo, and of the highly characteristic spectrum of induced mutations dominated by +1 frameshift mutations. Based upon results from previous in vitro studies, the similar role of glutathione S-transferase (GSTT1-1) in the activation of 1,1-DCP to a mutagen in vivo is also suggested. This study further illustrates the utility of the lamda transgenic medaka as a model for identifying and characterizing potential genetic health risks associated with chemical exposures in the environment.
Chromosomal aberration and sister-chromatid exchange (SCE) tests in vitro on 1,1-dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE), its two isomers, cis- and trans-1,2-DCE, and two possible metabolites of 1,1-DCE, chloroacetyl chloride and chloroacetic acid, were carried out using a Chinese hamster cell line, CHL. 1,1-DCE induced chromosomal aberrations in the presence of S9 mix prepared from the rat liver, but not in the absence of S9 mix. SCEs were also slightly induced by 1,1-DCE only in the presence of S9 mix. On the other hand, two isomers and two metabolites of 1,1-DCE induced neither chromosomal aberrations nor SCEs with and without S9 mix. 1,1-DCE, however, was negative even at a sublethal dose in the micronucleus test using mouse bone marrow, fetal liver and blood.
The epoxide hydrase inhibitor 1,1,1-trichloroprophane-2,3-oxide (TCPO) was genetically active to cells of S. cerevisiae and conidia of N. crassa. This genetic activity could be eliminated or reduced to near spontaneous levels in the presence of the S-9 fraction of hamster liver homogenate. The addition of TCPO to an in vitro activation system containing aflatoxin B1 resulted in an increase in the genetic activity of aflatoxin B1, and this increase was dependent on the dose of TCPO. These results are discussed in relation to the possible metabolism of the promutagen aflatoxin B1.
1,1,1- and 1,1,3-trichloroacetones (TCA) result from the disinfection of municipal water supplies with chlorine, and are direct-acting mutagens in the Ames/Salmonella assay. The objective of this study was to further investigate the genotoxicity of these compounds in mammalian cells using an in vitro chromosomal aberration assay in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and the micronucleus and spermhead abnormality assays in mice. Both compounds induced significant increases in structural chromosomal aberrations in CHO cells in the presence and in the absence of rat S9 metabolic activation (MA). 1,1,3-TCA was more cytotoxic to CHO cells but 1,1,1-TCA resulted in a higher proportion of cells with aberrations. The clastogenic activities of both compounds were reduced in assays conducted with MA. Neither compound resulted in the induction of a significant increase in micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes from bone marrow of Swiss-Webster mice when administered by oral gavage; nor were effects seen on the incidence of sperm with head-shape abnormalities, testis weight, or epididymal sperm concentration in B6C3F1 mice 21 or 35 days after treatment. These data indicate that the drinking water contaminants 1,1,1- and 1,1,3-TCA are clastogenic in vitro, but are not clastogenic to bone marrow cells in vivo, and do not adversely affect several indicators of testicular function in mice.
The main objective of this study was to compare the cytotoxic genotoxic and mutagenic activity of a number of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons, which are widely used as chemical intermediates, solvents, degreasing agents etc. in industry, and to establish the structure-toxicity relationship of the chemicals by using the most adequate determinants in estimating their toxicity. The mutagenicity and cytotoxicity of some of the candidate chemicals, namely 1,2-dichloroethylene, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, 1,3-dichloropropane, 1,2,3-trichloropropane and 1,1,3-trichloropropene were evaluated in an in vitro micronucleus assay. The cytokinesis-block methodology was applied on human lymphocytes in the presence or absence of an external metabolic activation system (S9-mix). In the micronucleus assay, all test substances, except 1,2,3-trichloropropane with and without S9-mix and 1,1,2-trichloroethane without S9-mix in the repeated experiment, exhibited a low but statistically significant mutagenic activity, compared to the concurrent control. However, none of the five chemicals was able to induce a clear and reproducible linear dose-dependent increase in micronucleus frequencies in this assay. Generally, mutagenic activity of the chemicals was found in the absence of severe cytotoxicity and/or cell cycle delay. The DNA breakage capacity and the cytotoxicity of these chemicals were also assessed in the alkaline single cell gel (SCG) electrophoresis test (comet assay) with and without S9-mix in isolated human lymphocytes. All chemical compounds induced DNA breakage, in the presence or absence of the metabolic activation system, at the doses tested. The data showed that the DNA reactivity of the chemicals increased with increasing degree of halogenation. The results of the present work suggested that the comet assay might be a more suitable and sensitive screening method than the micronucleus test for this particular class of compound. However, both assays do detect different endpoints.
1,1,2-Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a widely used halogenated solvent, produced in hundreds of millions of kg each year for industrial purposes. Occupational and environmental exposure of human populations to TCE has been reported in industrialized areas. Long-term carcinogenicity studies in rodents demonstrate that exposure to high doses of TCE results in the induction of liver and lung tumors in the mouse, and tumors of the kidney and the testis in the rat. An indirect mechanism, based on the stimulation of liver peroxisome proliferation by TCE metabolites, was proposed to explain species differences in TCE hepatocarcinogenicity. Mutagenicity studies indicate that TCE is weakly active both in vitro, where liver microsomes produce electrophilic TCE metabolites, and also in vivo in mouse bone marrow, where high rates of micronuclei, but no structural chromosome aberrations, are found. Among TCE metabolites, trichloroacetic acid was reported to be carcinogenic to mouse liver. Furthermore, both trichloroacetic acid and chloral hydrate were found to be genotoxic in vivo, inducing structural and numerical chromosome abnormalities, respectively.
The nephrotoxic and nephrocarcinogenic potential of the haloalkenes is associated with the conjugation of the chemicals to L-glutathione. Subsequent processing of the haloalkene glutathione S-conjugates via the cysteine conjugate beta-lyase pathway in the mammalian kidney yields nephrotoxic and mutagenic species. To investigate whether S-conjugates of the model chlorofluoroalkenes 1,1,2-trichloro-3,3,3-trifluoro-1-propene (CAS # 431-52-7) and trichlorofluoroethene (CAS # 359-29-5) show comparable effects, we have synthesised the respective cysteine and glutathione S-conjugates and subjected them to the Ames test. The cysteine and glutathione S-conjugates of tetrachloroethene (CAS # 127-18-4), S-(1,2,2-trichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine (TCVC) and S-(1,2,2-trichlorovinyl)glutathione (TCVG) were used as positive controls and reference substances. S-(1,2-dichloro-3,3,3-trifluoro-1-propenyl)-L-cysteine (DCTFPC) and S-(2,2-dichloro-1-fluorovinyl)-L-cysteine (DCFVC) showed clear dose-dependent mutagenic effects with the Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA100 and TA98. Using TCVC as a reference substance the following ranking in mutagenic response was established: TCVC>DCTFPC>DCFVC. S-(1,2-dichloro-3,3,3-trifluoro-1-propenyl)glutathione (DCTFPG) and S-(2,2-dichloro-1-fluorovinyl)glutathione (DCFVG) showed potent dose-dependent mutagenic effects with the S. typhimurium tester strain TA100 in the presence of a rat kidney S9-protein fraction; tests carried out in the absence of the bioactivation system resulted only in background rates of revertants. Using TCVG as a reference substance the following ranking in mutagenic response was established: TCVG=DCTFPG>DCFVG. The data obtained provide a basis for further studies on the mutagenic and presumable carcinogenic potential of the substances.
In the presence of S9 mix all allylic chloropropenes tested exert considerable indirect mutagenic activity which is most pronounced for 1,2,3-trichloropropene. Lower as well as higher chlorinated derivatives are clearly less mutagenic. Longer than standard incubation time (120 min instead of 20 min) at 37 degrees C always leads to an increase in mutagenic activity. An increase in concentration of rat-liver homogenate fraction (S9) in the metabolising system (S9 mix) enhances mutagenicity only for 1,3-dichloropropene, 2,3-dichloro-1-propene and for the cis isomer of 1,1,2,3-tetrachloro-2-propene. According to the effects of the enzyme inhibitors SKF525 1,1,1-trichloropropene-2,3-oxide and cyanamide the allylic chloropropenes fall into 3 groups distinguished by their mode of metabolic activation by S9 mix: (a) allyl chloride and 1,3-dichloropropene are hydrolysed to the corresponding allylic alcohols which can be oxidised to the respective acroleins (hydrolytic-oxidative pathway); (b) 2,3-dichloro-1-propene, 1,1,2,3-tetrachloro-2-propene and hexachloropropene are epoxidised in the C=C double bond, giving rise to reactive epoxides (epoxidative pathway); (c) only 1,2,3-trichloropropene is obviously activated by both these alternative metabolic pathways. Structural parameters like chloro-substitution of the central C atom of the C=C-C sequence and substituent-induced polarisation of the C=C double bond as well as cis/trans isomerism might be responsible for different substrate properties for the enzymes involved in allylic chloropropene metabolism, thus determining different degrees of activation by either one or both pathways.
6-Acetyl-1,1,2,4,4,7-hexamethyltetraline (AHTN) and 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-gamma-2-ben zopyran (HHCB), synthetic fragrance ingredients, were evaluated for potential genotoxicity in a battery of short-term tests. Salmonella typhimurium/Escherichia coli plate incorporation and liquid preincubation assays were conducted on AHTN using tester strains TA97, TA98, TA100, TA102, TA1535, TA1537 and WP2 uvrA +/- S9 activation at doses from 8 to 5000 micrograms/plate. The plate incorporation mutagenicity assay was conducted on HHCB using tester strains TA98, TA100, TA1535, TA1537, TA1538 and WP2 uvrA +/- S9 activation at doses from 10 to 5000 micrograms/plate. An in vitro cytogenetics assay in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells was conducted with AHTN and HHCB at three concentrations each with +/- S9 activation. In the non-activated study, the exposure/harvest periods were 4/20-, 20/20- and 44/44-h. In the S9 activated study, the exposure/harvest periods were 4/20- and 4/44-h. In vitro unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) assays were conducted in primary rat hepatocytes at concentrations between 0.15 and 50 micrograms/ml for AHTN and HHCB. In vivo mouse micronucleus assays were conducted with high doses of 1600 mg AHTN/kg and of 1500 mg HHCB/kg in corn oil. No positive responses were observed in any of the tests with HHCB. With AHTN, no positive responses were observed except for cells with structural aberrations in the in vitro cytogenetics assay in CHO cells with S9 activation at the treatment/harvest time of 4/20 h. In initial studies with AHTN, the high dose of 7.8 micrograms/ml showed 0.5% aberrant cells, with the mitotic index at 41% relative to vehicle control and cell growth inhibition in the range of 25-50%. Thus the genotoxicity findings with AHTN were limited to this one positive response; all other genotoxicity tests with AHTN were considered as negative. In particular, the negative finding in the in vivo assay supports AHTN as not likely to be mutagenic in mammalian systems. These considerations, along with other negative published data, lead to the conclusion that both AHTN and HHCB do not have significant potential to act as genotoxic carcinogens.
It has been observed that when Escherichia coli cells are treated simultaneously with phenanthroline and H2O2, there is a lethal interaction. In order to analyze the mechanism of this lethal interaction, wild-type and xthA mutant cells of E. coli were treated with 2.5 mM H2O2 and 1 mM phenanthroline. This treatment was preceded by treatments with different metal chelators (dipyridyl for Fe2+, desferal for Fe3+ and neocuproine for Cu2+) or conducted simultaneously to other treatments with chelators and radical scavengers (thiourea, ethanol and sodium benzoate). The lethal interaction was observed in both the E. coli wild-type strain and xthA mutant strain, which is deficient in the exonuclease III repair enzyme. Nevertheless, the mutant strain was much more sensitive than the wild-type one. Dipyridyl pretreatment protected the cells against the lethal interaction, while desferal pretreament was unable to do so. This suggests that the lethal interaction requires Fe2+ and not Fe3+ ions. Ethanol and sodium benzoate were incapable of protecting bacterial cells against the lethal interaction. Even a 20-min pretreatment with benzoate did not confer protection. On the other hand, thiourea protected the cells completely. Based on our results, we propose that the lethal interaction may be caused not only by the reaction kinetics of phenanthroline and Fe, but also by the ability of phenanthroline to intercalate in DNA. After forming the mono and bis complexes, phenanthroline would serve as a shuttle and take the Fe2+ ions to the DNA. So, the Fenton reaction would take its course with the consequent generation of OH. radicals near DNA. This proximity to the DNA would protect the OH. radicals against the scavengers' action, thus optimizing the Fenton reaction.