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Toxicology. 1994 Mar 11;88(1-3):31-49.

Dose-response relationship for rat liver DNA damage caused by 49 rodent carcinogens.

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Carcinogenesis and Metabolism Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711.


An experimental approach was taken to the question of dose-response curves for chemical carcinogenesis. DNA damage in female rat liver was chosen as the experimental parameter because all chemicals found to damage hepatic DNA were rodent carcinogens. The lowest dose causing DNA damage was determined for the 12 active chemicals (1,2-dibromoethane, 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,4-dioxane, methylene chloride, auramine O, Michler's ketone, selenium sulfide, 1,3-dichloropropene, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine, N-nitroso-piperidine and butylated hydroxytoluene). The resulting dose-response curves for rat hepatic DNA damage were plotted versus log of the molar dose (all activity was in five orders of magnitude) and versus percent of chemicals' oral rat LD50 (most of the activity was in only two orders of magnitude). Dose-response studies of the active chemicals were analyzed by regression methods. With the exception of butylated hydroxytoluene, the dose-response curves fit a linear model well (r2 = 0.886) and a quadratic model even better (r2 = 0.947). Based on experimental data from 11 DNA-damaging carcinogens (a dose range of 6 orders of magnitude), an equation and graph of the dose-response relationship of an 'average DNA-damaging carcinogen' is presented over the x-axis dose range of eight orders of magnitude.

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