Mutagenesis. 2022 Jul 23:geac012. doi: 10.1093/mutage/geac012. Online ahead of print.
Two prototypical genotoxicants, benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) and colchicine (COL), were selected as model compounds to deduce their quantitative genotoxic dose-response relationship at low doses in a multi-endpoint genotoxicity assessment platform. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with B[a]P (2.5-80 mg/kg bw/day) and COL (0.125-2 mg/kg bw/day) daily for 28 days. The parameters included were as follows: comet assay in the peripheral blood and liver, Pig-a gene mutation assay in the peripheral blood, and micronucleus test in the peripheral blood and bone marrow. A significant increase was observed in Pig-a mutant frequency in peripheral blood for B[a]P (started at 40 mg/kg bw/day on Day 14, started at 20 mg/kg bw/day on Day 28), whereas no statistical difference for COL was observed. Micronucleus frequency in reticulocytes of the peripheral blood and bone marrow increased significantly for B[a]P (80 mg/kg bw/day on Day 4, started at 20 mg/kg bw/day on Days 14 and 28 in the blood; started at 20 mg/kg bw/day on Day 28 in the bone marrow) and COL (started at 2 mg/kg bw/day on Day 14, 1 mg/kg bw/day on Day 28 in the blood; started at 1 mg/kg bw/day on Day 28 in the bone marrow). No statistical variation was found in indexes of comet assay at all time points for B[a]P and COL in the peripheral blood and liver. The dose-response relationships of Pig-a and micronucleus test data were analyzed for possible point of departures using three quantitative approaches, i.e., the benchmark dose, breakpoint dose, and no observed genotoxic effect level. The practical thresholds of the genotoxicity of B[a]P and COL estimated in this study were 0.122 and 0.0431 mg/kg bw/day, respectively, and our results also provided distinct genotoxic mode of action of the two chemicals.