Original Article

Hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase assay of lead mutagenicity on keratinocytes

Shun-Hua Ye


An improved hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) assay system was used to investigate the genotoxicity in human and rat keratinocytes exposed to Pb2+ 0.1-100 mumol.ml-1 in vitro. Autoradiography was applied to determine the number of labeled cells/cm2 of culture with [3H]TdR and liquid scintillation spectrometry was used to determine the incorporation of [3H]TdR into DNA counting of 6-thioguanine (TG)-resistant cells. The ratio between the number of labeled cells in the Pb2+ treated group (T) and in the control group (C) was calculated. When the cells exposed to Pb2+ 6 mumol.L-1 for 4 h, the T/C ratios reached 1.75 (scintillation, S), and 2.07 (autoradiography, A) in human and 1.37 (S), and 1.77 (A) in rat cells. A positive relation existed between the concentration of Pb2+ and mutagenicity. Lead should be considered as a weak mutagen in human and rat keratinocytes.

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