Cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a cyanobacterial hepatotoxin mainly produced by Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, has been involved in human intoxications and livestock deaths. The widespread occurrence of CYN in the water supplies lead us to investigate its genotoxicity to assess potential chronic effects. This study reports evaluation of CYN-induced in vivo DNA damage in mice using alkaline comet assay (ACA) and micronucleus assay (MNA) concomittantly. ACA measures DNA breakage from single and double strand breaks as well as alkali labile sites. Conversely, MNA detects chromosome damage events such as chromosomal breakage and numeric alterations. Male Swiss mice were treated with CYN concentrations of 50, 100, and 200 μg/kg by a single intraperitoneal (ip) injection or with 1, 2, and 4 mg/kg by gavage. Methyl methane sulfonate (MMS) was used as positive control at 80 mg/kg. Twenty-four hours after treatment, samples of liver, blood, bone marrow, kidney, intestine, and colon were taken to perform ACA, the bone marrow and the colon were also used for MNA. Parameters used to quantify DNA damage were % Tail DNA for ACA and both micronucleated immature erythrocytes and epithelial colon cells for MNA. DNA breaks and chromosome damage were significantly increased by MMS in all the organs evaluated. Significant DNA damage was detected within the colon by ACA after ip injection of 100 and 200 μg/kg CYN (P < 0.01). DNA damage was also detected in colon samples after 4 mg/kg oral administration of CYN and in bone marrow after 1 and 2 mg/kg of orally administered CYN. Histological examination showed foci of cell death within the liver and the kidney from mice that received the two highest doses of CYN by either route of administration.
- In vivo alkaline comet assay
- In vivo micronucleus assay