Assessment of Genotoxic Potential of Arsenic in Female Albino Rats at Permissible Dose Levels
Background: Arsenic is a wide spread environmental contaminant and has been recognized as a genotoxic element which is of major public health concern. Aim: The present study evaluates the genotoxic potential of arsenic at low permissible dose levels. Materials and Methods: Forty‑eight mature female rats were divided into four groups of 12 animals each. Group I animals received distilled water and served as control. Group II‑IV animals received sodium arsenite dissolved in distilled water continuously for a period of 60 days at the dose of 10, 30 and 50 μg/L (ppb) respectively. Six rats from each group were sacrificed after 30 days of arsenic exposure and the remaining animals were sacrificed after 60 days. Liver was excised from the sacrificed animals to study the probable advent signs of carcinogenicity measured through microsomal degranulation test. Assessment of mutagenic potential of arsenic was evaluated through chromosomal aberrations observed in the bone marrow cells. Results: The levels of RNA and proteins decreased significantly (P ≤ 0.01) in all the three doses administered along with an increase in % microsomal degranulation in hepatic fraction when compared to control at both 30 and 60 days time period. A dose‑dependent increase in chromosome aberrations like fragmentation, breakage has been observed in all the treated animals. Conclusion: The results of present study revealed that chronic exposure of arsenic even at its low permissible dose limits results in carcinogenic and mutagenic effects which emphasize its genotoxic possibility.
Chromosome aberrations, genotoxic, microsomal degranulation, sodium arsenite
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