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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Specific-locus test shows ethylnitrosourea to be the most potent mutagen in the mouse.

Use of the specific-locus test to measure the frequency of transmitted gene mutations induced in mouse spermatogonia has shown ethylnitrosourea to be by far the most potent mutagen yet discovered in the mouse. The dose used, 250 mg/kg, gave a mutation rate 5 times as high as had been obtained with 600 R, the most effective acute dose of x-rays. Compared to procarbazine, heretofore the most mutagenic chemical known in the mouse, ethylnitrosourea proved to be 15 times more mutagenic than the peak effect obtained with the most effective dose of procarbazine. Because of its high mutagenicity, ethylnitrosourea can serve as a model compound in exploring the effect of such factors as dose response, dose fractionation, sex, and cell stage on the mutagenic action of a chemical. Ethylnitrosourea is clearly the mutagen of choice for the production of any kind of desired new gene mutations in the mouse.[1]


  1. Specific-locus test shows ethylnitrosourea to be the most potent mutagen in the mouse. Russell, W.L., Kelly, E.M., Hunsicker, P.R., Bangham, J.W., Maddux, S.C., Phipps, E.L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1979) [Pubmed]
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