Analysis of gene mutations and clastogenicity following short-term treatment with azathioprine in MutaMouse.
The mutagenicity and clastogenicity of the immunosuppressive drug azathioprine (AZA), a multitissue rodent carcinogen and IARC-classified human carcinogen, was investigated using transgenic lacZ mice (MutaMouse). Male animals (n = 5 per group) were dosed with AZA (10, 50, 100 mg/kg p.o. daily for 5 days), vehicle (n = 10), or the positive control, chlorambucil (15 mg/kg i.p., n = 3), and killed 24 hr or 25 days after the last treatment. Micronucleus assays were performed with bone marrow (24-hr samples) or peripheral blood (24-hr and 25-day samples) and DNA was extracted from bone marrow and liver for gene mutation analysis at the transgenic lacZ locus. AZA induced 5.3-111.3-fold increases in %MNPCE (P < 0.01) in bone marrow compared with vehicle control, accompanied by 4.4-5. 6-fold increases in %MNRETs (P < 0.01) in peripheral blood. Chlorambucil caused a 14.5-fold increase in %MNRET and there was evidence of significant stem cell toxicity in both positive control and AZA treatment groups. By day 25, however, there was evidence of substantial recovery of the bone marrow as determined by the frequency of RET, and the %MNRET in all treatment groups was the same as the vehicle control. Analysis of lacZ MF showed 1.4-1.6-fold increases in AZA 24-hr bone marrow samples, increasing to approximately 2.0-fold above concurrent controls by day 25 (medium dose P < 0.05, high dose P < 0.01). For liver, there was a 2-fold increase in MF (P < 0.05) in the 24-hr sample at the highest dose only, and increases of 1.3-1.5-fold by day 25 in the medium (P < 0. 05) and high (P = 0.055) dose groups, respectively. The positive control, chlorambucil, induced 2-3-fold increases (P < 0.01) in mean MF in both bone marrow (25-day sample) and liver (24-hr and 25-day samples). These data confirm the clastogenicity of AZA in the mouse, and show that this compound induces gene mutations in bone marrow and liver, in vivo, at the highest dose and supports the view that AZA is a genotoxic carcinogen.
Smith, CC; Archer, GE; Forster, EJ; Lambert, TR; Rees, RW; Lynch, AM
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