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J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 1999;13(3-4):179-85.

Time- and concentration-dependent production of superoxide anion, nitric oxide, DNA damage and cellular death by ricin in the J774A.1 macrophage cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, The University of Toledo, OH 43606, USA.


The time- and concentration-dependent effects of ricin on some biomarkers of cellular toxicity, including production of superoxide anion (O2-), nitric oxide (NO), and DNA single strand breaks (SSB), as well as cellular death, have been examined in the J774A.1 macrophage cell cultures. Various concentrations of ricin have been added to various cell cultures, and the cells were incubated for 12, 24, 36, and 48 hours. Following 12 hour incubation, ricin did not cause significant increases in any of those biomarkers. However, time- and concentration-dependent increases were observed in the induction of all the biomarkers after incubation for 24-48 hours. Approximately twofold increases in the production of O2- were observed after incubation with 1 and 10 ng/mL of ricin for 24 and 36-48 hours, respectively. The concentrations of ricin that caused approximately twofold increases in the rate of DNA-SSB are 10 and 1-10 ng/mL after 24 and 36-48 hours incubation, respectively. Approximately twofold increases in NO production were only observed after incubation of the cultures with 1-10 ng/mL of ricin for 36-48 hours. Fifty percent reductions in cellular viability were also observed with ricin concentrations of 10-100, 10, and 1-10 ng/mL, after incubation for 24, 36, and 48 hours, respectively.

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