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Induction of micronuclei by ochratoxin A is a sensitive parameter of its genotoxicity in cultured cells


In order to better characterize the ochratoxin A (OTA)-induced DNA damage and to further investigate factors which may modulate dose-effect relationships in cells, the induction of micronuclei was studied in V79 Chinese hamster fibroblast cells and in primary cultures of porcine urothelial bladder epithelial cells (PUBEC). OTA was able to induce micronuclei in PUBEC and V79 cells at concentrations below those which were overtly cytotoxic. OTA concentrations between 0.03 and 1 μM caused a dose-dependent increase of micronuclei in V79 cells (up to 3-fold compared to controls); but the lowest tested concentration of 0.01 μM OTA did not induce a higher frequency of micronuclei than in the solvent control, indicative of an apparent threshold. Clear evidence for genotoxic effects was also found in PUBEC cultures treated with OTA concentrations of 1 μM and more, although the dose-effect relationship in PUBEC was more variable for several freshly isolated cell batches, pointing to differences in susceptibility to OTA between bladder cells from different donor animals. The chromosomal genotoxicity of OTA demonstrated in this study is in general accord with previous findings on the induction of clastogenic effects and oxidative DNA damage by OTA. In both cases, the shape of the dose-response curve at very low OTA concentrations supports the existence of a threshold for its genotoxicity.

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Correspondence to W. Föllmann or C. Behm or G. H. Degen.

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Föllmann, W., Behm, C. & Degen, G.H. Induction of micronuclei by ochratoxin A is a sensitive parameter of its genotoxicity in cultured cells. Mycotox Res 23, 101 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02946034

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  • genotoxicity
  • mycotoxin
  • ochratoxin A
  • threshold