Evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of toluidine blue O in the hamster cheek pouch

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Toluidine blue O has been shown to have clastogenic and mutagenic effects when tested in vitro, suggesting that it may be a carcinogen. Because this might compromise its use for cancer screening, the carcinogenic potential of this dye was investigated in the hamster cheek pouch, an established in vivo carcinogenesis model. Male hamsters were divided into seven groups at age 5 weeks. The right pouches of four groups were painted three times weekly with 2% toluidine blue or the vehicle for toluidine blue, in conjunction with submaximal applications of 9,10-dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene (DMBA) (groups II and III, 0.5% twice weekly), and groups IV and V, 0.1% three times weekly). The right pouches of two groups received DMBA only (group I, 0.5% three times weekly, the standard maximal amount, and group VI, 0.1% three times weekly). Group VII received toluidine blue (right pouches) and toluidine blue vehicle (left pouches) three times weekly. The extent of carcinomas and other abnormalities (scored histologically) did not differ among groups receiving the same amount of DMBA with and without toluidine blue or vehicle, and no abnormalities were seen in the pouches from group VII. These results demonstrate no effect of toluidine blue as a carcinogen, cocarcinogen, or promoter. © 1992 Mosby-Year Book, Inc. All rights reserved.

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