Investigations into the mechanisms of carcinogen-induced nuclear enlargement in HeLa S3 cells in vitro

Toxicology in Vitro : an International Journal Published in Association with BIBRA
C WestmorelandP Grasso


Carcinogen-induced nuclear enlargement has been reported both in vitro and in vivo, but the mechanism, and whether it is causally related to carcinogenesis, has not yet been established. This study was designed to investigate the role of increased DNA content, such as might occur in polyploidy, in induction of nuclear enlargement. The effects of two genotoxic carcinogens, N-methyl-N-nitrosourea and adriamycin, were compared with the effects induced by diethylstilboestrol, which is arguably a non-genotoxic carcinogen but is known to induce polyploidy. HeLa S3 cells were used as the model system for comparison with previous studies. N-methyl-N-nitrosourea and adriamycin both induced a concentration-related increase in nuclear size 24 to 72 hr after a 30 min pulse-treatment. This was accompanied by an increase in the proportions of cells in the G(2) + M stage of the cell cycle, possibly due to a G(2) block. There was some evidence of polyploidy with adriamycin but not with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea. The distributions of nuclear areas indicated that increases in ploidy contributed to, but did not totally account for, the nuclear enlargement. In contrast, diethylstilboestrol increased the range of nuclear areas and DNA content, to both...Continue Reading


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