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Nutr Cancer. 2002;42(1):117-24.

Effect of dietary intake of vitamin A or E on the level of DNA damage, chromosomal aberrations, and micronuclei induced in freshly isolated rat hepatocytes by different carcinogens.

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Cancer Research Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 833 91 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.


Hepatocytes freshly isolated from male Wistar rats fed a common diet or a vitamin A- or vitamin E-supplemented diet (each for 21, 28, or 41 days) were assayed for sensitivity to DNA breakage and cytogenetic changes induced by carcinogens. Different indirectly acting carcinogens were assayed. N-nitrosomorpholine (NMOR) was the only agent that induced DNA breaks, chromosomal aberrations, and micronuclei in all experiments. Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]p) and dimethyldibenzo [c,g]carbazole (diMeDBC) induced only DNA breaks in all experiments. Occasionally, B[a]P induced chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei, and diMeDBC induced micronuclei, but not chromosomal aberrations. These results demonstrated that the tested carcinogens assayed at concentrations highly effective in a hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase/V79 system significantly increased DNA damage, while cytogenetic changes were less frequent. In hepatocytes from rats fed vitamin A, a reduction in the severity of all three end points was observed after NMOR treatment. After B[a]P treatment, we found a reduction in DNA breaks and chromosomal aberrations; after treatment with diMeDBC, we observed a reduction in DNA breaks. Treatment with vitamin E was less effective: it reduced DNA strand breaks induced by B[a]P and partially reduced those induced by diMeDBC and NMOR and the level of micronuclei induced by NMOR and B[a]P. Both vitamins reduced the level of DNA strand breaks induced by the oxidative effect of a visible light-excited photosensitizer.

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