U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Date of this Version



Published in Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 50: 760-770 (2009). DOI: 10.1002/em.20496


Arsenic is a human skin, lung, and urinary bladder carcinogen, and may act as a cocarcinogen in the skin and urinary bladder. Possible modes of action of arsenic carcinogenesis/cocarcinogenesis include oxidative stress induction and inhibition of DNA damage repair. We investigated the effects of arsenic in drinking water on DNA damage repair in urinary bladder transitional cells and on micronucleus formation in bone marrow. F344 rats were given 100 ppm arsenate [As(V)] or dimethylarsinic acid [DMA(V)] in drinking water for 1 week. The in vivo repair of cyclophosphamide (CP)-induced DNA damage resulting from a single oral gavage of CP, and the in vitro repair of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)- or formaldehyde- induced DNA damage, resulting from adding H2O2 or formaldehyde into cell medium, were measured by the Comet assay. DMA(V) effects were not observed on either CP-induced DNA damage induction or on DNA repair. Neither DMA(V) nor As(V) increased the H2O2- or formaldehyde- induced DNA damage, and neither inhibited the repair of H2O2-induced DNA damage. Neither DMA(V) nor As(V) increased the micronucleus frequency, nor did they elevate micronucleus frequency resulting from CP treatment above the level observed by the treatment with CP alone. These results suggest that arsenic carcinogenesis/cocarcinogenesis in the urinary bladder may not be via DNA damage repair inhibition. To our knowledge this is the first report of arsenic effects on DNA damage repair in the urinary bladder.