Distinction of carcinogens from mutagens by induction of liver cell foci in a model for detection of initiation activity

Hiroki Sakai, Tetsuya Tsukamoto, Masami Yamamoto, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Hirofumi Yuasa, Toshio Imai, Tokuma Yanai, Toshiaki Masegi, Masae Tatematsu

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Initiating activities of 26 chemicals were investigated in an in vivo 5 week initiation assay model with evaluation of the induction of glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P) positive foci as end-point lesions. With the five genotoxic hepatocarcinogens (diethylnitrosamine, dimethylnitrosamine, 2-acetylaminofluorene, N-bis(2-hydroxypropyl)-nitrosamine and safrole) and 11 genotoxic non-hepatocarcinogens, (2-(2-furyl)-3-(5-nitro-2-furyl)-acrylamide, benzo[a]pyrene, N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine, N-ethyl-N-hydroxyethylnitrosamine, 3-methylcholanthrene, N-methyl-N-nitrosourea, N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide and 8-hydroxyquinoline), the numbers of GST-P positive foci were significantly higher than in the controls. On the other hand, the mutagenic non-carcinogens (quercetin, p-phenylenediamine dihydrochloride, 2-chloroethanol and 6-hydroquinoline) did not cause a significant increase. Similarly, non-genotoxic hepatocarcinogens of the hepatopromotor class and promotors which target organs other than the liver did not induce GST-P positive foci. The specificity was thus remarkable. Moreover, regardless of the target organ, mutagenic carcinogens were detected by this in vivo 5 week initiation assay, which therefore constitutes a powerful method for screening for carcinogenic potential, especially in the initiation stage of carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15-12-2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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