Damage to mitochondrial DNA induced by the quinolone Bay y 3118 in embryonic turkey liver

Mutat Res. 1999 Apr 6;425(2):213-24. doi: 10.1016/s0027-5107(99)00044-5.


Quinolones are a class of antibiotics that induce damage to and loss of DNA from bacteria. The structural organization of bacterial DNA is more similar to eukaryotic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) than to eukaryotic chromosomal or nuclear DNA (nDNA). Antibiotics affecting the bacterial genome may therefore preferentially damage mtDNA rather than nDNA. We investigated the effect of a quinolone on mtDNA in avian embryonic hepatocytes in ovo. The quinolone Bay y 3118 (1-cyclopropyl-7-(2,8-diazabicyclo[4.3.0]non-8-yl) 6-fluoro-8-chloro-1,4-dihydro-4-oxo-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid hydrochloride, chemical structure see Bremm et al. [K.D. Bremm, U. Petersen, K.G. Metzger, R. Endermann, In vitro evaluation of Bay-y 3118, a new full-spectrum fluoroquinolone, Chemotherapy 38 (1992) 376-387] was injected into fertilized turkey eggs 8 days before hatching at doses of 1, 3, 10 and 30 mg per egg. The embryos were removed from the eggs after 4 days and liver samples were shock frozen. Mitochondrial DNA was purified from samples of the embryonic liver. The integrity of mtDNA was investigated by electrophoresis on agarose gels with native mtDNA and with ribonuclease-treated mtDNA. Fluorescent staining of the electrophoresis gels allows the densitometric quantification of the mtDNA of the regular band at 16 kilobases (kb) and the amount of DNA fragments of irregular size (smear). The genotoxic nitrosamine nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) has previously been shown to reduce the content of mtDNA of the regular size of 16 kb and to induce the occurrence of smaller fragments of mtDNA [H. Enzmann, C. Kühlem, E. Löser, P. Bannasch, Damage to mitochondrial DNA induced by the hepatocarcinogen, diethylnitrosamine in ovo, Mutation Res. 329 (1995) 113-120]. After exposure to 10 and 30 mg Bay y 3118, a dose-dependent induction of damage to the mtDNA was found, whereas exposure to 3 and 1 mg showed no effect. NDEA (25 mg) was used as positive control. Testing chemical compounds in the in ovo model is a simple and rapid approach for investigations on chemically induced alterations of mtDNA.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / toxicity*
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / drug effects*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / drug effects
  • Extrachromosomal Inheritance / drug effects
  • Fluoroquinolones*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Turkeys / embryology


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Bay Y3118