In vivo cytogenetic studies on mice exposed to acesulfame-K--a non-nutritive sweetener

Food Chem Toxicol. 1997 Dec;35(12):1177-9. doi: 10.1016/s0278-6915(97)85469-5.


Acesulfame-K, a sweetening agent, was evaluated in vivo for its genotoxic and clastogenic potentials. Swiss albino male mice were exposed to the compound by gavage. Bone marrow cells isolated from femora were analysed for chromosome aberrations. Doses of 15, 30, 60, 450, 1500 and 2250 mg of acesulfame-K/kg body weight induced a positive dose-dependent significant clastogenicity (trend test alpha < 0.05). These doses were within the no-toxic-effect levels (1.5-3 g/kg body weight in rats) reported by the Joint Expert Committee for Food Additives of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In view of the present significant in vivo mammalian genotoxicity data, acesulfame-K should be used with caution.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / pathology
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics*
  • Cytogenetics
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mutagens*
  • Sweetening Agents / toxicity*
  • Thiazines / toxicity*
  • World Health Organization


  • Mutagens
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Thiazines
  • acetosulfame