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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Oct;82(19):6619-21.

Dose-repetition increases the mutagenic effectiveness of N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea in mouse spermatogonia.


In order to maximize the mutagenic effectiveness of N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea in mouse stem-cell spermatogonia, advantage was taken of the fact that these cells can accumulate mutations from repeated doses given over relatively long time periods. Repeated doses (100 mg/kg) of ethylnitrosourea injected intraperitoneally into male mice at weekly intervals were found to allow adequate survival and fertility with total dosages of 300 and 400 mg/kg. The specific-locus mutation frequencies at these dosages were, respectively, 1.8 and 2.2 times that obtained with the maximal practicable single dose of 250 mg/kg. The mutation frequency induced by a 400 mg/kg dosage of ethylnitrosourea is 12 times the maximal mutation frequency achievable with a single exposure to x-rays and 36 times that reported for procarbazine, the most effective chemical mutagen previously known for mouse stem-cell spermatogonia. Ethylnitrosourea is already the mutagen of choice in deliberate attempts to create mouse models for human disease and in any experiments in which a maximal mutation rate is desired. Repeated-dose regimens similar to the ones reported here should increase the efficiency of such studies.

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