Tests for urethane induction of germ-cell mutations and germ-cell killing in the mouse.


Urethane, a chemical that has given varied results in mutagenesis assays, was tested in the mouse specific-locus test, and its effect on germ-cell survival was explored. Altogether 32,828 offspring were observed from successive weekly matings of males exposed to the maximum tolerated i.p. dose of 1750 mg urethane/kg. The combined data rule out (at the 5% significance level) an induced mutation rate greater than 1.7 times the historical control rate. For spermatogonial stem cells alone, the multiple ruled out is 3.2, and for poststem-cell stages, 3.5. Litter sizes from successive conceptions made in any of the first 7 weeks give no indication of induced dominant lethality, confirming results of past dominant-lethal assays. That urethane (or an active metabolite) reaches germ cells is indicated by SCE induction in spermatogonia demonstrated by other investigators. Cytotoxic effects in spermatogonia are suggested by our finding of a slight reduction in numbers of certain types of spermatogonia in seminiferous tubule cross-sections and of a borderline decrease in the number of litters conceived during the 8th and 9th posttreatment weeks. The negative results for induction of gene mutations as well as clastogenic damage are at variance with Nomura's reports of dominant effects (F1 cancers and malformations) produced by urethane.

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@article{Russell1987TestsFU, title={Tests for urethane induction of germ-cell mutations and germ-cell killing in the mouse.}, author={Liane Brauch Russell and Patricia R. Hunsicker and E. F. Oakberg and Carrie C Cummings and Richard L. Schmoyer}, journal={Mutation research}, year={1987}, volume={188 4}, pages={335-42} }