Biology of Metals

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 197–200 | Cite as

Comutagenesis of sodium arsenite with ultraviolet radiation in Chinese hamster V79 cells

  • Jih-Heng Li
  • Toby G. Rossman
Original Articles


Solar ultraviolet radiation has been associated with the induction of skin cancer. Recent studies have indicated that near-ultraviolet, especially UVB, is mutagenic. Exposure to trivalent inorganic arsenic compounds has also been associated with increased skin cancer prevalence. Trivalent arsenic compounds are not mutagenicper se, but are comutagenic with a number of cancer agents. Here, we test the hypothesis that arsenite enhances skin cancer via its comutagenic action with solar ultraviolet radiation. Irradiation of Chinese hamster V79 cells with UVA (360 nm), UVB (310 nm) and UVC (254 nm) caused a fluence-dependent increase in mutations at thehprt locus. On an energy basis, UVC was the most mutagenic and UVA the least. However, when expressed as a function of toxicity, UVB was more mutagenic than UVC. Nontoxic concentrations of arsenite increased the toxicity of UVA, UVB and UVC. Arsenite acted as a comutagen at the three wavelengths; however, higher concentrations of arsenite were required to produce a significant (P < 0.05) comutagenic response with UVB. The increased mutagenicity of UVB and UVA by arsenite may play a role in arsenite-related skin cancers.

Key words

Arsenic Ultraviolet light Mutations Cells DNA repair 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jih-Heng Li
    • 1
  • Toby G. Rossman
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Medicine and Kaplan Cancer CenterNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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