Induction of complete and incomplete chromosome aberrations by bleomycin in human lymphocytes

L. Benkhaled, M. Xunclà, M. R. Caballín, L. Barrios, J. F. Barquinero

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Bleomycin (BLM) is a clastogenic compound, which due to the overdispersion in the cell distribution of induced dicentrics has been compared to the effect of high-LET radiation. Recently, it has been described that in fibroblast derived cell lines BLM induces incomplete chromosome elements more efficiently than any type of ionizing radiation. The objective of the present study was to evaluate in human lymphocytes the induction of dicentrics and incomplete chromosome elements by BLM. Peripheral blood samples have been treated with different concentrations of BLM. Two cytogenetic techniques were applied, fluorescence plus Giemsa (FPG) and FISH using pan-centromeric and pan-telomeric probes. The observed frequency of dicentric equivalents increases linearly with the BLM concentration, and for all BLM concentrations the distribution of dicentric equivalents was overdispersed. In the FISH study the ratio between total incomplete elements and multicentrics was 0.27. The overdispersion in the dicentric cell distribution, and the linear BLM-concentration dependence of dicentrics can be compared to the effect of high-LET radiation, on the contrary the ratio of incomplete elements and multicentrics is similar to the one induced by low-LET radiation (∼0.40). The elevated proportion of interstitial deletions in relation to total acentric fragments, higher than any type of ionizing radiation could be a characteristic signature of the clastogenic effect of BLM. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-141
JournalMutation Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Bleomycin
  • Incomplete and complete exchanges
  • Pan-centromeric and pan-telomeric probes


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