Analysis of DNA damage induced by aflatoxin B1 in Dunkin-Hartley guinea pigs
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Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is among the most potent naturally occurring carcinogens and classified as a group I carcinogen. Since the ingestion of aflatoxin-contaminated food is associated with several liver diseases, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of 2, 20, and 200 ppb of AFB1 on DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes and liver cells in Dunkin-Hartley guinea pigs. The animals were divided into four groups according to the given diet. After the treatment the lymphocytes and liver cells were isolated and DNA damage determined by Comet assay. The levels of DNA damage in lymphocytes were higher animals treated with 200 ppb of AFB1-enriched diet (P = 0.02). In the liver cells there were a relationship between the levels of DNA damage and the consumption of AFB1 in all studied groups. These results suggest that Comet assay performed on lymphocytes is a valuable genotoxic marker for high levels of exposure to AFB1 in guinea pig. Additionally our results indicate that the exposure to this toxin increases significantly and increases the level of DNA damage in liver cells, which is a key step on liver cancer development. We also suggest that the Comet assay is an useful tool for monitoring the genotoxicity of AFB1 in liver. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.