Effect of ascorbic acid prophylaxis on the frequency of chromosome aberrations, urine mutagenicity and nucleolus test in workers occupationally exposed to cytostatic drugs

Rössner, P.; Cerná, M.; Pokorná, D.; Hájek, V.; Petr, J.

Mutation Research 208(3-4): 149-153

1988


ISSN/ISBN: 0027-5107
PMID: 3398866
Accession: 005221600

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Abstract
The genetic risk of workers occupationally exposed to a series of newly developed cytostatic drugs and the presumed antimutagenic potential of ascorbic acid (AA) were studied in a group of 38 chemical laboratory personnel examined for chromosome aberrations in lymphocytes, urine mutagenicity and nucleolar RNA activity before and after a 6-month prophylactic administration of AA at daily doses of 1 g for 5 days a week. Chromosome aberration tests revealed elevated aberrant cell (AB.C.) rates both prior to and after AA supplementation (3.9% and 3.65% of AB.C., respectively). These values were significantly higher than those found in 18 non-exposed matching controls (1.05% of AB.C.). Tests for mutagenic activity in the urine of drug-exposed workers revealed 64% positive urine samples prior to vitaminization and 60% positive urine specimens after it; positive urine samples in the group of controls accounted for 21% of samples. In the nucleolus test, numbers of inactivated micronuclei in the exposed were initially higher than those of controls (33.4% versus 24.3%), but dropped to 20.5% after AA supplementation. These findings show that AA prophylaxis alone cannot substantially reduce the hazards associated with exposure to anti-cancer drugs.