This study presents the first application of an in vivo alkaline comet assay using haemocytes of Drosophila melanogaster larvae. These cells, which play a role similar to that of mammalian blood, can be easily obtained and represent an overall exposure of the treated larvae. To validate the assay, we evaluated the response of these cells to three well-known mutagenic agents: ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), potassium dichromate (PD), and gamma radiation (γ-irradiation). Third-instar Drosophila larvae were exposed to different concentrations of EMS (1, 2, and 4 mM) and PD (0.5, 1, and 2.5 mM) and to different doses of γ-irradiation (2, 4, and 8 Gγ). Subsequently, haemolymph was extracted from the larvae, and haemocytes were isolated by centrifugation and used in the comet assay. Haemocytes exhibited a significant dose-related increase in DNA damage, indicating that these cells are clearly sensitive to the treatments. These results suggest that the proposed in vivo comet test, using larvae haemocytes of D. melanogaster, may be a useful in vivo assay for genotoxicity assessment. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
- Comet assay
- Drosophila melanogaster