3-Nitrobenzanthrone (3-NBA) induced micronucleus formation and DNA damage in human hepatoma (HepG2) cells

Evelyn Lamy, Fekadu Kassie, Richard Gminski, Heinz H. Schmeiser, Volker Mersch-Sundermann

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60 Scopus citations


3-Nitrobenzanthrone (3-NBA), identified in diesel exhaust and in airborne particulate matter, is a potent mutagen in Salmonella, induces micronuclei formation in mice and in human cells and DNA adducts in rats. In the present study, we investigated the genotoxic potency of 3-NBA in human HepG2 cells using the micronucleus (MN) assay and the single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE). 3-NBA caused a genotoxic effect at concentrations ≥12nM in both assays. In the micronucleus assay, we found 98.7±10.3 MN/1000 BNC at a concentration of 100nM 3-NBA in comparison to 27.3±0.6 MN/1000 BNC with the negative control. At the same concentration, the DNA-migration (SCGE) showed an Olive tail moment (OTM) of 2.7±0.45 and %DNA in the tail of 8.28±0.76; OTM and %DNA in the tail of cells treated with the negative control were 0.73±0.08 and 2.81±0.30, respectively. The results are discussed under consideration of former studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2004


  • 3-Nitrobenzanthrone
  • Comet assay
  • HepG2 cell
  • Micronucleus assay


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