Induction of sister chromatid exchanges and chromosome aberrations in cultured mammalian cells treated with aminophenylnorharman formed by norharman with aniline

Takeshi Ohe, Tomoko Takata, Yoko Maeda, Yukari Totsuka, Noriyasu Hada, Atsuko Matsuoka, Noriho Tanaka, Keiji Wakabayashi

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Aminophenylnorharman (APNH) is a newly identified mutagenic heterocyclic amine formed by coupling of norharman with aniline in the presence of S9 mix. Furthermore, mutagenic amino-3′-methylphenylnorharman (AMPNH) and aminophenylharman (APH) have been identified from a reaction mixture of norharman and o-toluidine and that of harman and aniline, respectively, with S9 mix. Among these three heterocyclic amines, APNH shows most potent mutagenic activity towards Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and YG1024 with S9 mix. In the present study, the induction of sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) by APNH was examined in Chinese hamster lung (CHL) cells in vitro, comparing it to those of AMPNH and APH. On incubation with rat S9 for 6h, followed by a recovery culture period of 18h, a dose-dependent effect was found at concentrations between 0.00125 and 0.01μg/ml for APNH and between 0.3125 and 5μg/ml for AMPNH and APH. The approximate chemical concentrations leading to a three-fold of control SCE levels calculated from slopes of the linear regressions of induced SCEs were 0.005 for APNH, 0.51 for AMPNH and 1.7μg/ml for APH. Because of the very strong SCE-causing ability of APNH, we further explored its genotoxicity by examining the induction of chromosome aberrations in CHL cells. A dose-dependent effect was found for chromosome aberrations at concentrations between 0.00125 and 0.04μg/ml of APNH. The aberrations observed were primarily chromatid exchanges (cte) and breaks (ctb). In conclusion, the potency of SCE induction and clastogenic activity induced by APNH is stronger than Actinomycin D, Mitomycin C (MMC) or 1,8-dinitropyrene which are considered to be the potent clastogens in the literature. Further studies are needed for elucidating mechanisms of the genotoxic actions of these compounds and for evaluating their potential hazards to human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Mar 25



  • Amino-3′-methylphenylnorharman
  • Aminophenylharman
  • Aminophenylnorharman
  • Chinese hamster lung (CHL) cells
  • Chromosome aberrations
  • Sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Genetics

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