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Genotoxicity testing of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in a mouse bone marrow micronucleus test complemented with hematological endpoints

: Ziemann, C.; Hansen, T.; Pohlmann, G.; Farrar, D.; Pohlenz-Michel, C.; Tillmann, T.; Mangelsdorf, I.

Preprint urn:nbn:de:0011-n-1314442 (233 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: e2b973689a824a6870f0b975c9ffac61
Erstellt am: 28.7.2010

Mutation research. Genetic toxicology and environmental mutagenesis 697 (2010), Nr.1-2, S.38-46
ISSN: 1383-5718
ISSN: 1388-2120
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
sulfur dioxide; micronucleus test; Inhalation; mouse; bone marrow; Hematology

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a non-flammable, non-explosive, colorless gas. It is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and an important chemical intermediate in several industrial processes. The toxicological properties of SO2, including its genotoxic potential, have been studied extensively. The majority of the available in vitro data indicate a lack of genotoxicity of SO2, while for sulfite salts some positive results have been reported. However, recent in vivo studies, using Kunming albino mice, have pointed to in vivo clastogenicity of SO2. To re-evaluate these positive findings, a bone-marrow micronucleus test according to OECD Guideline No. 474 was performed. NMRI mice (m/f) were exposed by inhalation via whole-body exposure to 0 (clean air), 2.7, 8, 27, or 80 mg/m(3) (0, 1, 3, 10, or 30 ppm) SO2 for 4 h/day on 7 consecutive days. Animals were sacrificed 24 h after start of the last exposure, and blood samples (for complementing hematology) and bone marrow smears (for analysis of micronuclei) were prepared. Under the conditions used, exposure to SO2 caused no acute toxicity, mortality, or reduction in body weight. Compared with the clean-air controls, hematological parameters such as hematocrit, hemoglobin, erythrocyte/platelet/total leukocyte counts, differential white blood cell counts, and indicators of blood formation (reticulocyte counts, ratio of polychromatic to normochromatic erythrocytes in the bone marrow) remained unchanged by SO2 treatment. Unlike the previously reported studies on micronucleus formation, SO2 did not induce micronuclei in polychromatic erythrocytes of the bone marrow, whereas the positive control cyclophosphamide (60 mg/kg body weight) was quite effective in this respect. Interestingly, SO2 treatment significantly enhanced malondialdehyde levels in erythrocyte lysates (TBARS method), indicating SO2-mediated oxidative stress, but also demonstrating systemic availability of the inhaled SO2. In conclusion, the present study could not reproduce the genotoxicity findings of the previously reported studies. SO2 is thus considered non-genotoxic in polychromatic erythrocytes in the bone marrow of NMRI mice under the conditions and in the concentrations used.