Usefulness of combined in vivo skin comet assay and in vivo skin micronucleus test.Mutat Res. 2012 Mar 18; 743(1-2):42-51.MR
We have already found that the in vivo skin comet assay is useful for the evaluation of primary DNA damage induced by genotoxic chemicals in epidermal skin cells. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the combined in vivo skin comet assay and in vivo skin micronucleus (MN) test using the same animal to explore the usefulness of the new test method. The combined alkaline comet assay and MN test was carried out with three chemicals: 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4NQO), N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). In the first experiment, we compared DNA- and chromosome-damaging effects of 3 [72, 24 and 3 hours (h) before sacrifice] and 4 applications (72, 48, 24 and 3h before sacrifice) of 4NQO, which induces dermal irritancy. The animals were euthanized and their skin was sampled for the combination test. As a result, the 4-application method was able to detect both DNA- and chromosome-damaging potential with a lower concentration; therefore, in the second experiment, MNNG and B[a]P were topically applied four times, respectively. The animals were euthanized, and then their skins were sampled for combination tests. In the alkaline comet assay, significant differences in the percent of DNA (%DNA) in the tail were observed in epidermal skin cells treated with MNNG and B[a]P. In the MN test, an increased frequency of MN cells (%MN) cells was observed by treatment with MNNG; however, there were no significant increases. In contrast, significant differences in %MN were observed by treatment with B[a]P. From these results, we conclude that the combined in vivo skin comet assay and in vivo MN test was useful because it can detect different genotoxicity with the same sampling time and reduce the number of animals used.