Mutation research

Studies on the genotoxic effect of beryllium chloride and the possible protective role of selenium/vitamins A, C and E.

PMID 18373946


The genotoxic potential of beryllium chloride (BeCl2) was evaluated in vivo in mice using different endpoints. Chromosomal aberrations in bone marrow cells and in spermatocytes as well as sperm abnormalities were determined in the tested mice. The protective role of an orally administered drug consisting of selenium and vitamins A, C and E (selenium-ACE) was also studied. For analysis of chromosomal aberrations, both single and repeated oral treatments for a period of 3 weeks were performed. The doses used were 93.75, 187.50, 375, and 750 mg BeCl2/kg bw, which corresponds to 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 of the experimental LD50. BeCl2 induced a statistically significant increase in the percentage of chromosomal aberrations in both somatic and germ cells, with a dose- and time-response. The percentage of induced chromosomal aberrations was significantly reduced in all BeCl2-treated groups after oral administration of selenium-ACE. Beryllium chloride also induced a significant increase in the percentage of abnormal sperm. This percentage reached values of 9.62 +/- 0.32 and 5.56 +/- 0.31 in mice treated with the highest test dose of BeCl2 and with BeCl2+selenium-ACE, respectively, compared with 1.96 +/- 0.14 for the control. In conclusion, the results demonstrate the genotoxic effect of beryllium chloride and confirm the protective role of selenium-ACE against the genotoxicity of beryllium chloride.