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Toxicology and applied pharmacology

2,6-Dithiopurine, a nucleophilic scavenger, protects against mutagenesis in mouse skin treated in vivo with 2-(chloroethyl) ethyl sulfide, a mustard gas analog.


PMID 22732900

Abstract

Sulfur mustard [bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide, SM] is a well-known DNA-damaging agent that has been used in chemical warfare since World War I, and is a weapon that could potentially be used in a terrorist attack on a civilian population. Dermal exposure to high concentrations of SM produces severe, long-lasting burns. Topical exposure to high concentrations of 2-(chloroethyl) ethyl sulfide (CEES), a monofunctional analog of SM, also produces severe skin lesions in mice. Utilizing a genetically engineered mouse strain, Big Blue, that allows measurement of mutation frequencies in mouse tissues, we now show that topical treatment with much lower concentrations of CEES induces significant dose- and time-dependent increases in mutation frequency in mouse skin; the mutagenic exposures produce minimal toxicity as determined by standard histopathology and immunohistochemical analysis for cytokeratin 6 and the DNA-damage induced phosphorylation of histone H2AX (γ-H2AX). We attempted to develop a therapeutic that would inhibit the CEES-induced increase in mutation frequency in the skin. We observe that multi-dose, topical treatment with 2,6-dithiopurine (DTP), a known chemical scavenger of CEES, beginning 1h post-exposure to CEES, completely abolishes the CEES-induced increase in mutation frequency. These findings suggest the possibility that DTP, previously shown to be non-toxic in mice, may be useful as a therapeutic agent in accidental or malicious human exposures to SM.

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242640
2-Chloroethyl ethyl sulfide, 97%
C4H9ClS