Etoposide and merbarone are clastogenic and aneugenic in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test complemented by fluorescence in situ hybridization with the mouse minor satellite DNA probe

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The topoisomerase II (topo II) inhibitors etoposide (VP-16) and merbarone (MER) were investigated with the in vivo micronucleus test (MN test) combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using the mouse minor satellite DNA probe to discriminate MN of clastogenic and aneugenic origin. All experiments were performed with male (102/ElxC3H/El) F1 mice bred in the mouse colony of the GSF Research Center. The sample size per experimental group was five animals and 2,000 polychromatic erythrocytes (PCE) were scored per animal from coded slides in the conventional MN test. A separate set of coded slides was used for the FISH analysis. All treatments consisted of single intraperitoneal injections. Colchicine (COL, 3 mg/kg) and mitomycin (MMC, 1 mg/kg) were used as a positive control aneugen and clastogen, respectively, and these compounds produced the expected responses. A dose of 1 mg/kg VP-16 induced 3.44% MNPCE (compared to the concurrent solvent control of 0.37%, P < 0.001) and of these 39.9% (1.4% MNPCE) showed one or more fluorescent signals. MER (7.5-60 mg/kg) increased the MNPCE frequencies in a dose-dependent manner, with 15 mg/kg being the lowest positive dose. At the highest dose of 60 mg/kg of MER, a total of 4.26% MNPCE were found (compared to 0.31% in the concurrent solvent control, P < 0.001) and of these 46.2% (2.0% MNPCE) contained one or more fluorescent signals. The data demonstrate that VP-16 and MER induced both clastogenic and aneugenic events despite their different modes of topo II inhibition. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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