Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Environ Health Perspect. 2002 Oct;110(10):1003-8.

Mechanisms of the genotoxicity of crocidolite asbestos in mammalian cells: implication from mutation patterns induced by reactive oxygen species.

Author information

  • 1Center for Radiological Research, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Asbestos is an important environmental carcinogen in the United States and remains the primary occupational concern in many developing countries; however, the underlying mechanisms of its genotoxicity are not known. We showed previously that asbestos is a potent gene and chromosomal mutagen in mammalian cells and that it induces mostly multilocus deletions. Furthermore, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are associated with the mutagenic process. To evaluate the contribution of ROS to the mutagenicity of asbestos, we examined their generation, particularly hydrogen peroxide, and compared the types of mutants induced by crocidolite fibers with those generated by H(2)O(2 )in human-hamster hybrid (A(L)) cells. Using confocal scanning microscopy together with the radical probe 5,6 -chloromethy-2,7 -dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (CM-H(2)DCFDA), we found that asbestos induces a dose-dependent increase in the level of ROS among fiber-treated A(L) cells, which is suppressed by concurrent treatment with dimethyl sulfoxide. Using N-acetyl-3,7-dihydroxyphenoxazine (Amplex Red reagent) together with horseradish peroxidase, we further demonstrated that there was a dose-dependent induction of H(2)O(2) in crocidolite-treated A(L) cells. The amount of H(2)O(2 )induced by asbestos reached a plateau at a dose of 6 microg/cm(2). Concurrent treatment with catalase (1,000 U/mL) inhibited this induction by 7- to 8-fold. Mutation spectrum analysis showed that the types of CD59(-) mutants induced by crocidolite fibers were similar to those induced by equitoxic doses of H(2)O(2). These results provide direct evidence that the mutagenicity of asbestos is mediated by ROS in mammalian cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center