Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Mol Mutagen. 2018 Jun;59(5):366-374. doi: 10.1002/em.22190. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Folate deficiency increases chromosomal damage and mutations in hematopoietic cells in the transgenic mutamouse model.

Author information

Nutrition Research Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Environment and Climate Change Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau, Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada.


Folate deficiency causes megaloblastic anemia and neural tube defects, and is also associated with some cancers. In vitro, folate deficiency increases mutation frequency and genome instability, as well as exacerbates the mutagenic potential of known environmental mutagens. Conversely, it remains unclear whether or not elevated folic acid (FA) intakes are beneficial or detrimental to the induction of DNA mutations and by proxy human health. We used the MutaMouse transgenic model to examine the in vivo effects of FA deficient, control, and supplemented diets on somatic DNA mutant frequency (MF) and genome instability in hematopoietic cells. We also examined the interaction between FA intake and exposure to the known mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) on MF. Male mice were fed the experimental diets for 20 weeks from weaning. Half of the mice from each diet group were gavaged with 50 mg/kg body weight ENU after 10 weeks on diet and remained on their respective diet for an additional 10 weeks. Mice fed a FA-deficient diet had a 1.3-fold increase in normochromatic erythrocyte micronucleus (MN) frequency (P = 0.034), and a doubling of bone marrow lacZ MF (P = 0.035), compared to control-fed mice. Mice exposed to ENU showed significantly higher bone marrow lacZ and Pig-a MF, but there was no effect of FA intake on ENU-induced MF. These data indicate that FA deficiency increases mutations and MN formation in highly proliferative somatic cells, but that FA intake does not mitigate ENU-induced mutations. Also, FA intake above adequacy had no beneficial or detrimental effect on mutations or MN formation. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 59:366-374, 2018.


MutaMouse; Pig-a; folic acid; micronucleus; mutagenesis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center