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

Sister chromatid exchange in human lymphocytes induced by propoxur following plant activation by Vicia faba.

Because the carbamate insecticide propoxur induced sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) in Vicia faba but was ineffective in producing SCE in lymphocytes in culture, it was hardly suspected that plant metabolism was involved. Experiments were conducted in which metabolic activation was afforded by Vicia faba roots, and SCE in human lymphocytes in vitro was used to assess cytogenetic damage. Several concentrations of propoxur (250, 500, 1,000, 1,500, and 2,000 ppm) were applied for 4 hr to the roots of Vicia faba. Extracts prepared from these treatments were added to the lymphocyte cultures and a significant increase of SCE frequencies with a concentration-response relationship could be detected. The lymphocyte proliferation kinetics and the proliferation rate index (PRI) were not affected (except in the highest concentration, of 2,000 ppm). This general behavior was in agreement with the presence of an enzymatic system ( S10 fraction) in Vicia roots capable of metabolizing or activating the propoxur. With 2,000 ppm, cell necrosis was produced in Vicia; therefore, this extract did not induce SCE in lymphocytes. However, lymphocyte proliferation kinetics were delayed and PRI was significantly decreased. Ethanol, a promutagen activated by this plant, was applied directly to the lymphocyte cultures as a positive control, and the response was negative. On the other hand, the extracts of roots treated with ethanol increased the SCE to more than twice that of the negative control, but the lymphocyte proliferation kinetics and PRI were not affected.[1]


  1. Sister chromatid exchange in human lymphocytes induced by propoxur following plant activation by Vicia faba. Gómez-Arroyo, S., Calderón-Segura, M.E., Villalobos-Pietrini, R. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. (1995) [Pubmed]
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