The alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) or 'comet' assay under alkaline conditions was used to measure DNA damage in the liver cells of B6C3F1 male mice exposed to 2,4-dimethylaniline and 2,4,6-trimethylaniline. Cells embedded in agarose were lysed, subjected briefly to an electric field, stained with a fluorescent DNA-binding stain, and viewed using a fluorescence microscope. The effect of 2,4-dimethylaniline and 2,4,6-trimethylaniline was studied after single intraperitoneal injections at doses equal to 100, 200 mg/kg and 150, 300 mg/kg body wt., respectively. It was found that 2,4-dimethylaniline and 2,4,6-trimethylaniline were able to damage DNA in the liver cells of the mice. As has been published elsewhere, the DNA damaging effect of the studied compounds was also observed in bone marrow cells of the mice. In conclusion, taking into account the results mentioned above and the results obtained by the other researchers who reported mutagenic activity of 2,4-dimethylaniline and 2,4,6-trimethylaniline in a Salmonella typhimurium assay and DNA repair test using Chinese hamster hepatocytes, it can be stated that both aromatic amines are genotoxic.
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