5 years ago

No evidence for transgenerational genomic instability in the F1 or F2 descendants of Muta™Mouse males exposed to N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea

Exposure of male mice to genotoxic agents can increase mutation frequencies in their unexposed descendants. This phenomenon, known as transgenerational genomic instability (TGI), can persist for several generations. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Chemically-induced TGI has been demonstrated in non-coding unstable tandem repeat DNA regions, but it is unclear whether it extends to other genetic endpoints. We investigated whether exposure of Muta™Mouse males to a single dose of 75mg/kg N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) increased the spontaneous frequency of gene mutations or chromosome damage in their offspring. Treated males were mated with untreated females 3 days, 6 weeks or 10 weeks post-exposure to produce the F1 generation. Offspring were thus conceived from germ cells exposed to ENU as mature spermatozoa, dividing spermatogonia, or spermatogonial stem cells, respectively. F2 mice were generated by mating F1 descendants with untreated partners. Mutations in the lacZ transgene were quantified in bone marrow and micronucleus frequencies were evaluated in red blood cells by flow-cytometry for all F0 and their descendants. LacZ mutant frequencies were also determined in sperm for all exposed males and their male descendants. In F0 males, lacZ mutant frequencies were significantly increased in bone marrow at least 10-fold at all three time points investigated. In sperm, lacZ mutant frequency was significantly increased 7–11-fold after exposure of dividing and stem cell spermatogonia, but not in replication-deficient haploid sperm. Micronucleus frequencies assessed two days after ENU treatment were increased 5-fold in F0 males, but returned to control levels after 10 weeks. Despite the strong mutagenic response in F0 males, pre- and post-meiotic ENU exposure did not significantly increase lacZ mutant or micronucleus frequencies in F1 or F2 offspring. These findings suggest that TGI may not extend to all genetic endpoints and that further investigation of this phenomenon and its health relevance will require multiple measures of genomic damage.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0027510713000171

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