Effects of carcinogen treatment on rat liver DNA synthesis in vivo and on nascent DNA synthesis and elongation in cultured hepatocytes

Joanne Zurlo, David C. Eustice, John E. Mignano, Miriam C. Poirier, James D. Yager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One objective of this study was to determine the effects of N-hydroxy-2-acetylaminofluorene (N-OH-AAF) treatment on DNA synthesis in regenerating rat liver. Rats were subjected to a two-thirds hepatectomy followed 20 h later by i.p. injection of N-OH-AAF. 4 h after carcinogen injection, it was found that N-OH-AAF caused a dose-dependent inhibition of [3H]thymidine incorporation into liver DNA. This inhibition was followed by a gradual, but incomplete recovery beginning 28 h after carcinogen treatment. Radioimmunoassay of deoxyguanine-C8 adducts remaining in liver DNA indicated that the recovery began prior to detection of adduct removal. The second objective of the study was to determine the effects of DNA damage on the size distribution and elongation of nascent hepatocyte DNA. Hepatocytes, which have been shown to demonstrate a pattern of inhibition and subsequent recovery of DNA synthesis following UV irradiation similar to that seen in vivo upon treatment with N-OH-AAF (Zurlo and Yager, 1984), were cultured under conditions that promote replicative DNA synthesis. The size distribution of nascent DNA after UV irradiation was determined by pH step gradient alkaline elution analysis. [3H]Thymidine pulse times and subsequent chase times were adjusted to equalize amounts of DNA synthesis in control and UV-irradiated cells. The results show that UV irradiation caused a dose-dependent decrease in the size distribution of nascent DNA suggesting an inhibition of elongation. Pulse-chase studies revealed that subsequent joining of nascent chains in UV-irradiated hepatocytes occurred at a rate comparable to or faster than controls and than this could be inhibited by caffeine. The results obtained from both the in vivo and in vitro studies show that resumption of DNA synthesis and nascent strand elongation occur on damaged templates. These observations along with our previous studies demonstrating the ability of UV-irradiated hepatocytes to carry out enhanced reactivation of UV-irradiated herpes virus lend support to the idea that DNA damage leading to inhibition of DNA synthesis may induce SOS-type processes which if mutagenic may play a role in the initiation of carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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