Mutagenesis induced by dimethylnitrosamine (DMN) and N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (NMU) in Salmonella typhimurium TA100 and TA1530 is characterized by biphasic dose and time response curves. At low doses or short incubation times mutagenic response is minimal, but increases rapidly when an apparent threshold dose or threshold incubation time is exceeded. Bacteria pretreated with subthreshold doses of DMN or NMU were many times more sensitive to the mutagenic effects of methylating and ethylating N-nitroso compounds than were untreated bacteria. The growth phase of the bacteria had little effect on the percentage enhancement of mutagenesis caused by pretreatment with NMU although exponentially growing cells were more sensitive to mutagenesis induced by NMU or diethylnitrosamine. Mutagenesis induced by methylmethanesulfonate and N-propyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine was not significantly enhanced by pretreatment of bacteria with NMU or NEU suggesting that the former mutagens act by different mechanisms than NMU or NEU.
ASJC Scopus subject areas