Mutagenic activity of chloramines

Edwin Thomas, M. Margaret Jefferson, Jeffrey J. Bennet, Douglas B. Learn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mutagenesis by chloramines and hypochlorous acid (HOCI) was studied to determine whether these agents could contribute to the mutagenic and potentially carcinogenic activity of stimulated leukocytes and whether environmental exposure to these agents is a cause for concern. Mutagenic activity was measured using the S. typhimurium TA97a, TA100 and TA102 tester strains. Because chloramines and HOC1 are bactericidal, react rapidly with cell components, and can destroy the histidine and biotin required for the mutagenesis assay, activity can't be compared directly with that of less toxic or reactive agents. Nevertheless, chloramines were mutagenic when tested under appropriate conditions. TA100 was the most sensitive strain, and the most active mutagens were lipophilic dichloramines (RNC12) including derivatives of histamine, ethanolamine and putrescine. Lipophilic monochloramines (RNHC1) such as histamine-monochloramine and NH2C1 were less active. Hydrophilic chloramines such as taurine-chloramines had low activity, and HOC1 was inactive. The metabolic state of the bacteria was critical. Chloramines were mutagenic when added to bacteria with glucose at 37°C, but killing predominated when chloramines were added at 4°C or 25°C, or at 37°C without glucose. Production of chloramines and HOC1 by leukocytes in vivo could contribute to the association of chronic inflammation and cancer as a result of: (1) the entry of membrane-permeable chloramines into normal cells followed by attack on intracellular components including DNA, and (2) the production of secondary mutagens such as compounds with carbonyl groups or carbon-chlorine bonds. On the other hand, chlorination of water supplies is perhaps more likely to destroy than create mutagens, and chloramines from the environment are unlikely to penetrate the skin and mucous membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research/Genetic Toxicology
Volume188
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

Fingerprint

Chloramines
Mutagens
Mutagenesis
Bacteria
Leukocytes
Hypochlorous Acid
Glucose
Ethanolamine
Putrescine
Water Supply
Poisons
Chlorination
Halogenation
Chlorine
Environmental Exposure
Cellular Structures
Biotin
Water supply
Histidine
Histamine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Mutagenic activity of chloramines. / Thomas, Edwin; Jefferson, M. Margaret; Bennet, Jeffrey J.; Learn, Douglas B.

In: Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology, Vol. 188, No. 1, 01.01.1987, p. 35-43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thomas, Edwin ; Jefferson, M. Margaret ; Bennet, Jeffrey J. ; Learn, Douglas B. / Mutagenic activity of chloramines. In: Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology. 1987 ; Vol. 188, No. 1. pp. 35-43.
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