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Toxicol Lett. 2012 May 20;211(1):62-9. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

The use of FISH-comet to detect c-Myc and TP 53 damage in extended-term lymphocyte cultures treated with terbuthylazine and carbofuran.

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  • 1Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Ksaverska Cesta 2, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.


Terbuthylazine and carbofuran are suspected to cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and lung cancer. We evaluated the effects of prolonged exposure to low concentrations on primary DNA damage by comet assay, and on the structural integrity of c-Myc and TP 53 genes by FISH-comet. Another novelty in studying these pesticides' genotoxicity is the use of 14-day extended-term human lymphocyte cultures. Concentrations corresponded to values of ADI and OEL: for terbuthylazine 0.58 ng/ml and 8 ng/ml; for carbofuran 8 ng/ml and 21.6 ng/ml, respectively. A possible effect of metabolic activation (S9) was also considered. Carbofuran treatment induced a significant migration of DNA into the tail in a concentration-dependent manner, while for terbuthylazine the effect was significant only at the higher concentration. Terbuthylazine caused migration of both c-Myc signals into the comet tail. A significant occurrence of TP 53 signals in the tail was observed at 8 ng/ml. Prolonged carbofuran treatment significantly elevated the migration of a single c-Myc signal into the tail in a concentration-dependent manner. With S9, distribution of signals shifted toward increased presence of both signals in tail. Our results showed impaired structural integrity of c-Myc and TP 53 due to prolonged exposure to terbuthylazine and carbofuran.

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