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, 19 (6), 421-30

Mutagenicity of Malachite Green and Leucomalachite Green in in Vitro Tests


Mutagenicity of Malachite Green and Leucomalachite Green in in Vitro Tests

V Fessard et al. J Appl Toxicol.


The genotoxic potential of the fungicide malachite green (MG) and its reduced derivative leucomalachite green (LMG) was assessed in bacteria and mammalian cells using the standard Salmonella typhimurium/Ames and CHO/HGPRT tests. In vitro potential DNA damaging effects of MG and LMG were tested using the single-cell gel electrophoresis (Comet) assay on CHO cells. Malachite green was found to be extremely cytotoxic to bacteria and mammalian cells. It did not have any mutagenic activity, in any bacterial strains, in the presence or absence of metabolic activation for doses up to 10 microg per plate. In the CHO/HGPRT test, the mutagenic potential of MG could be evaluated only for very low concentrations ranging from 0.001 to 0.05 microg ml(-1) medium. When S9 fraction was added to the medium, the highest tested dose could be increased to 1 microg ml(-1). In these experimental conditions, MG did not increase the number of thioguanine-resistant mutants. Leucomalachite green was less toxic than MG to Salmonella typhimurium and did not have mutagenic activity in the Ames' test for doses up to 2000 microg per plate. It was also less cytotoxic than MG to CHO cells and was tested at doses ranging from 5 to 100 microg ml(-1). Overall results indicated that LMG was not mutagenic in the HGPRT test. In the Comet assay, MG induced DNA damage only at cytotoxic doses. Loss of cell viability was observed for doses of > or = 3 microg ml(-1), with parallel increase in DNA alterations as measured by the tail moment. After metabolic activation, however, DNA damage was observed at doses (15-20 microg ml(-1)) inducing only low cytotoxicity. In this case, the direct genotoxicity of MG metabolites could not be excluded. In the absence or presence of metabolic activation, LMG did not have any effect on cell viability or DNA damage for doses up to 500 microg ml(-1). This study indicates that LMG, which is the main residue found in fish tissues after treatment with MG, did not have any mutagenic or clastogenic effects in the experimental conditions used.

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