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Mutagenesis. 1995 May;10(3):223-6.

Amphibian micronucleus test in vivo: evaluation of the genotoxicity of some major polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in a crude oil.

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Centre de Biologie du Développement, UMR/CNRS 9925 affiliée à l'INSERM, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.


The micronucleus test using erythrocytes of Pleurodeles waltl larvae (Amphibia, Salamandridae) was used to detect the possible genotoxicity of four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (naphthalene, anthracene, phenanthrene and benzo[a]pyrene), which represent a major fraction of crude oil. Larvae were reared in water containing the test compound and the levels of micronucleated red blood cells were compared with those found in larvae reared in control water. The results are compared with published data from other tests used to evaluate the clastogenic or mutagenic properties of compounds. The results obtained confirm that benzo[a]pyrene has a strong genotoxic potential, whereas the genotoxicity of naphthalene is weak; in contrast, anthracene and phenanthrene gave a negative response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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