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Mutat Res. 1998 Aug 31;405(1):81-7.

Effect of maternal folate levels on somatic mutation frequency in the developing colon.

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Department of Biology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Folic acid deficiency is associated with an increase in chromosomal aberrations in adult rodents and humans. Somatic mutations have a critical role in carcinogenesis. Since most mutations arise during early development, the effect of maternal folic acid levels on the spontaneous mutant frequency in the developing colon was examined using lacZ transgenic mice. No significant difference in mutant frequencies at both 3 and 8 weeks of age were found between offspring whose mothers were fed low folate and those on high folate diets during pregnancy. Our results suggest that the correlation between folic acid intake and cancer risk may only be effective at extreme folate deficiencies or in combination with other dietary deficiencies or an underlying predisposition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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