Genotoxicity of heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide in human TK6 lymphoblastoid cells

Guadalupe Prado, Javed Ahmad Bhalli, Ricard Marcos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The genotoxic potential of the organochlorine insecticides heptachlor (HC) and its metabolite heptachlor epoxide (HCE) has been evaluated in TK6 cells, a well-established human lymphoblastoid cell line. Genotoxicity has been determined by scoring the induction of DNA breaks in the comet assay and by measuring the frequency of micronuclei (MN) in binucleated cells. The results indicate that both compounds are able to induce significant increases in the percentage of DNA in the tail, the parameter used in the comet assay, with a direct dose-response relationship. Nevertheless, both compounds were unable to induce an increase in the frequency of MN. The comet assay measures primary DNA damage, while the induction of MN measures fixed damage. Thus, our results would suggest that the DNA damage induced by the two insecticides is not fixed as chromosome damage, which would be detectable by means of the MN assay (chromosome breaks and aneuploidy). © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-91
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2009


  • Comet assay
  • Genotoxicity
  • Heptachlor
  • Heptachlor epoxide
  • Micronucleus
  • Organochlorine pesticides


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