Mutation research

Evaluation of the PIGRET assay in rats by single oral dosing with azidothymidine.

PMID 27931817


In vivo phosphatidylinositol glycan, class A (Pig-a) gene mutation assay using peripheral blood is known to be a novel and useful tool to evaluate the mutagenicity of compounds. Recently, the rat PIGRET assay which is an improved method for measuring Pig-a mutant cells in reticulocytes with magnetic enrichment of CD71 positive cells has been developed. Several reports showed that the PIGRET assay could detect the increase of Pig-a mutant frequency earlier than the Pig-a assay in total red blood cells (RBC Pig-a assay). Therefore, as part of a collaborative study by the Mammalian Mutagenicity Study (MMS) Group of the Japanese Environmental Mutagen Society, the usefulness of the PIGRET assay in comparison to the RBC Pig-a assay has been assessed for 24 compounds with various mechanisms of action. In the present study, we performed the PIGRET assay and RBC Pig-a assay with a nucleoside analogue, azidothymidine (AZT), and compared the results in these assays. We administered a single dose of AZT to rats by oral gavage up to 2000mg/kg and examined Pig-a mutant frequencies at days 7, 14 and 28 by PIGRET and RBC Pig-a assays. No significant increases in mutant frequency were observed after administration of AZT in both the RBC Pig-a and PIGRET assays and comparable to the previous results of the International Workshop on Genotoxicity Testing (IWGT) workgroup. AZT has been thought to induce not only DNA chain termination as a pharmacological effect but also a large deletion on the genome DNA. The Pig-a assays may be less sensitive to compounds such as AZT which induce large deletions on the genome DNA.