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Mutat Res. 2002 May 27;517(1-2):231-8.

The rodent carcinogens 1,4-dioxane and thiourea induce meiotic non-disjunction in Drosophila melanogaster females.

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  • 1Radiobiología, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Av. Gral. Paz 1499, 1650 San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The ability of the rodent carcinogens 1,4-dioxane (DX) and thiourea (TU) to induce meiotic non-disjunction (ND) was assessed in 3- and 6-day-old Drosophila melanogaster females. The chemicals were administered orally and three 24 h and one 48 h broods were obtained after mating, to sample oocytes treated in increasingly earlier stages of development. The broods represent mainly mature oocytes (brood I), nearly mature oocytes (brood II), early oocytes (brood III) and very early oocytes (brood IV). The toxicity of DX increased with dose (1% (not toxic), 1.5, 2, 3, 3.5%) as well as a reduction in fecundity which was moderate. Induction of ND in mature oocytes was positive with 2, 3 and 3.5% concentrations and was not related to dose. In immature oocytes it was also positive though already at the lowest concentration tested (1%), suggesting a sensitivity higher than that of mature oocytes. TU at 0.10-10%, did not affect viability, but since fecundity was seriously impaired at high doses, ND was not assessed beyond the 1.5% concentration. TU also induced ND in mature and in immature oocytes; neither a threshold nor a dose effect was detected. The response of mature oocytes was lower than that of immature oocytes. TU induced increases of ND in the earliest cells tested in a more consistent fashion than DX. The data clearly show that both chemicals induced ND in mature oocytes and in the three subsets in which immature oocytes were fractionated. Though toxicity may play a significant unspecific role in the induction of chromosome malsegregation by DX and TU, the induction of ND at low doses, moderately toxic to the oocytes, suggests that the interaction with specific targets contributed to the results obtained.

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