We were interested to study the relationship between DNA lesions, DNA repair, mutation fixation, and tumour development. Therefore, mice harbouring lacZ reporter genes and being either wild-type or defective in the DNA excision repair gene XPA, were treated with the genotoxic carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene at an oral dose of 13 mg/kg b.w. (3 times/week). At different time points, i.e. 1,5,9 or 13 weeks after start of the oral administration, levels of BPDE-N2-dG adducts (the major formed DNA adduct by benzo[a]pyrene in mice), and lacZ mutation frequencies were measured both in target (spleen) and non-target (lung and liver) tissues. Both in wild-type and XPA-deficient mice, benzo[a]pyrene treatment resulted in increased BPDE-N2-dG adduct levels in all three tissues analysed. In XPA-deficient mice, BPDE-N2-dG adduct levels still increased up to 13 weeks of oral benzo[a]pyrene treatment, whereas in DNA repair proficient mice steady-state levels were reached after 5 weeks of treatment. After 13 weeks, the BPDE-N2-dG adduct levels observed in XPA(-/-) mice, were 2- to 3-fold higher than the steady state levels observed in XPA(+/+) mice in the same tissues. Mutation frequencies in the lacZ reporter gene were the same in wild-type and XPA-deficient mice that were treated with the solvent only. Oral benzo[a]pyrene treatment resulted in an increase in mutation frequency in the lacZ marker gene in all three tissues, but this increase was most profound in the spleen. After 13 weeks of treatment, a 7-fold increase in lacZ mutation frequency was detected in the spleen of wild-type mice as compared to mutation frequencies in control mice. At the same time point, a 15-fold increase in lacZ mutation frequency was observed in the spleen of XPA-deficient mice. The data presented here show, that a defect in NER mainly results in enhanced mutation frequencies in lymphocytic cells after oral treatment with the genotoxic compound benzo[a]pyrene. Interestingly, as we established in a previously performed carcinogenicity assay, the same oral treatment with benzo[a]pyrene induced lymphomas residing in the spleen of XPA-deficient mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research