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Mutat Res. 2006 Feb 22;594(1-2):10-9. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

2-Dodecylcyclobutanone, a radiolytic product of palmitic acid, is genotoxic in primary human colon cells and in cells from preneoplastic lesions.

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Department of Nutritional Toxicology, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Friedrich Schiller University, Dornburger Strasse 25, D-07743 Jena, Germany.


The irradiation of fat results in the formation of 2-alkylcyclobutanones, a new class of food contaminants. Results of previous in vitro studies with primary human colon cells and in vivo experiments with rats fed with 2-alkylcyclobutanones indicated that these radiolytic derivatives may be genotoxic and enhance the progression of colon tumors. The underlying mechanisms of these effects, however, are not clearly understood. Therefore we performed additional investigations to elucidate the genotoxic potential of 2-dodecylcyclobutanone (2dDCB) that is generated from palmitic acid. In particular, we explored the relative sensitivities of human colon cells, representing different stages of tumor development and healthy colon tissues, respectively. HT29clone19A cells, LT97 adenoma cells and primary human epithelial cells were exposed to 2dDCB (150-2097 microM). We determined cytotoxic effects using trypan blue exclusion. Genotoxicity, reflected as strand breaks, was assessed using the alkaline version of the comet assay and chromosomal abnormalities were investigated by 24-color fluorescence-in-situ-hybridization. 2dDCB was cytotoxic in a time- and dose-dependent manner in LT97 adenoma cells and in freshly isolated primary cells but not in the human colon tumor cell line. Associated with this was a marked induction of DNA damage by 2dDCB in LT97 adenoma cells and in freshly isolated colonocytes, whereas in the HT29clone19A cells no strand breaks were detectable. A long-term incubation of LT97 adenoma cells with lower concentrations of 2dDCB revealed cytogenetic effects. In summary, 2dDCB was clearly genotoxic in healthy human colon epithelial cells and in cells representing preneoplastic colon adenoma. These findings provide additional evidence that this compound may be regarded as a possible risk factor for processes in colon carcinogenesis related to initiation and progression.

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