Journal Article

Comparative study of the formation and repair of <i>O</i><sup>6</sup>-methylguanine in humans and rodents treated with dacarbazine

Vassilis L. Souliotis, Christos Valavanis, Viki A. Boussiotis, Gerasimos A. Pangalis and Soterios A. Kyrtopoulos

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 17, issue 4, pages 725-732
Published in print April 1996 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online April 1996 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/17.4.725
Comparative study of the formation and repair of
                        O6-methylguanine in humans and rodents treated
                    with dacarbazine

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The mutagenic, carcinogenic and cytotoxic activity of dacarbazine, a drug employed in cancer chemotherapy, may be related to the induction in DNA of O6-methyl-guanine (O6-meG), a quantitatively minor but biologically important lesion. In the present study the kinetics of O6-meG formation and repair in blood leukocyte DNA were examined in 20 Hodgkin's lymphoma patients treated i.v. with 180 ± 13 (mean ± SD) mg/m2 dacarbazine and compared with those observed in various tissues of rodents treated with different doses of the drug. In Hodgkin's lymphoma patients adduct levels reached a value of 0.27± 0.14 fmol/μg DNA 2 h after dacarbazine administration, while the rate of subsequent loss suggested an adduct half-life of ≤ 30 h. Measurement of adduct levels in the same individuals after successive courses of treatment spaced 3 weeks apart (up to 10 treatment courses) demonstrated a consistent individual response and statistical analysis of variance confirmed that intra-individual variation in adduct accumulation after a given dose of dacarbazine accounted for only 5% of the total variance observed. In contrast, inter-individual variation accounted for 70% of the observed variance, with adduct levels 2 h after drug treatment varying 17.5-fold among adduct-positive individuals. No significant depletion of lymphocyte O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (AGT) occurred after patient treatment with dacarbazine. No significant relationship between adduct levels and clinical response to treatment was observed. In rats treated with single or multiple doses of dacarbazine causing varying degrees of AGT depletion the highest levels of O6-meG were seen in the liver, followed by the lymph nodes, bone marrow and blood leukocytes, which showed up to 2-fold lower levels. A similar tissue distribution was also observed in mice and in a single rabbit. These observations suggest that O6-meG levels assayed in blood leukocytes of therapeutically treated humans reflect those present in the lymph nodes (target tissue for chemotherapy) and the bone marrow (target tissue for leukaemogenesis) and may be utilized as a measure of the drug dose reaching these tissues. The quantitative data reported in this study show that under conditions of no depletion of AGT O6meG accumulates in blood leukocyte DNA of humans at a rate similar to that observed in rats, suggesting that human susceptibility to any O6-meG-mediated genotoxic effects of dacarbazine may be comparable with that of the rat.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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