Following a 2005 report of chromosomal damage in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who were treated with the commonly prescribed medication methylphenidate (MPH), numerous studies have been conducted to clarify the risk for MPH-induced genetic damage. Although most of these studies reported no changes in genetic damage endpoints associated with exposure to MPH, one recent study (Andreazza et al. : Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 31:1282-1288) reported an increase in DNA damage detected by the Comet assay in blood and brain cells of Wistar rats treated by intraperitoneal injection with 1, 2, or 10 mg/kg MPH; no increases in micronucleated lymphocyte frequencies were observed in these rats. To clarify these findings, we treated adult male Wistar Han rats with 0, 2, 10, or 25 mg/kg MPH by gavage once daily for 28 consecutive days and measured micronucleated reticulocyte (MN-RET) frequencies in blood, and DNA damage in blood, brain, and liver cells 4 hr after final dosing. Flow cytometric evaluation of blood revealed no significant increases in MN-RET. Comet assay evaluations of blood leukocytes and cells of the liver, as well as of the striatum, hippocampus, and frontal cortex of the brain showed no increases in DNA damage in MPH-treated rats in any of the three treatment groups. Thus, the previously reported observations of DNA damage in blood and brain tissue of rats exposed to MPH for 28 days were not confirmed in this study. Additionally, no histopathological changes in brain or heart, or elevated serum biomarkers of cardiac injury were observed in these MPH-exposed rats.
(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.