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Mutagenicity and toxicity of visible fluorescent light to cultured mammalian cells

Naturevolume 266pages724726 (1977) | Download Citation



MANY cultured mammalian cells are characterised by karyotypic instability, high rates of spontaneous transformation and high frequencies of background mutation. The toxicity of visible light for mammalian cells1–4 is usually attributed to photochemical reactions between light and the culture medium, and riboflavin, tryptophan and tyrosine are often thought to mediate this toxicity1–3. Light has been shown to produce strand breaks in DNA5,6. Because many tissue culture operations are conducted under fluorescent light, we have investigated whether the toxicity and DNA strand-breaking activity of light are accompanied by mutagenicity. We report here that this is the case.

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  1. Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20014



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