Induction of an adaptive response to quercetin, mitomycin C and hydrogen peroxide by low doses of quercetin in V79 Chinese hamster cells

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The adaptive response is a phenomenon by which cells exposed to low, non-cytotoxic doses of a genotoxicant become significantly resistant to a subsequent higher dose of the same or another genotoxic agent, Induction of the adaptive response has been mainly studied using ionizing radiation and alkylating agents as genotoxic agents. However, other mutagenic agents may warrant further study, since the adaptive response as a whole may be an important general biological mechanism to maintain genetic integrity and thus could prevent carcinogenic initiation of cells. The exposure to mutagenic agents present, or formed, in the diet is considered an important factor in the etiology of human tumors and a considerable number of these agents have not yet been identified or characterized, Flavonoids are a large group of polyphenolic quinoids found in a wide variety of edible fruits and vegetables and a few, such as quercetin, present genotoxic activity in vitro. The mechanisms of mutagenicity of quercetin involve the production of oxygen radicals through an autoxidation process dependent on pH value and the presence of oxygen, Although there are few doubts regarding the mutagenicity of quercetin in vitro, carcinogenicity of this flavonoid is still controversial. In view of these conflicting results and the radiomimetic nature of the mutagenicity of flavonoids, we addressed the question of cell exposure to quercetin at the low levels present in the diet leading to adaptation to further exposure to mutagens or carcinogens. The work reported here concerns induction of an adaptive response by low doses of quercetin to challenging doses of quercetin and other compounds, namely hydrogen peroxide and mitomycin C, using induction of chromosomal aberrations in V79 cells as the end point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


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