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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 90-95

In vivo chromosome damaging effects of an inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibitor: Ribavirin in mice

1 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Department of Anatomy, Centre for Basic Sciences, Kasturba Medical College, Bejai, Mangalore-575 004, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
K Narayana
Department of Anatomy, Centre for Basic Sciences, Kasturba Medical College, Bejai, Mangalore-575 004, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.15108

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the in vivo mutagenic effects of ribavirin in mice. METHODS: Mice were injected (i.p.) 20, 100, or 200 mg/kg ribavirin (single exposure) for bone marrow micronucleus, peripheral blood micronucleus and bone marrow chromosome aberration tests. Five treatments of 200 mg/kg ribavirin was given (i.p.) for sperm morphology test. The tests were performed as per the standard procedures. RESULTS: Ribavirin induced significant number of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MNPCEs) at 24, 48 and 72 h following the exposure with more effects at 24 h (p<0.05-0.001). Micronucleated PCEs were more at 48 h in lower dose-levels and at 72 h in highest dose-level in the peripheral blood (p<0.05-0.001). Ribavirin induced structural chromosomal damage hence producing the fragments for the micronucleus formation. Ribavirin decreased the PCE%, P/N ratio and the mitotic index indicating that it prevents cell division in mouse bone marrow. Ribavirin also decreased the testis weight and induced the formation of abnormal sperms. CONCLUSION: Ribavirin is a potent mutagen and cytotoxic agent in mice in vivo. Further, it also induces point mutations in germ cells yielding abnormal sperms. The genotoxic effects of ribavirin are not exerted in a dose-dependent pattern in mouse.


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