||Oak Ridge National Lab., TN. Biology Div. ;Tennessee Univ., Oak Ridge. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. ;Washington Univ., Seattle. School of Medicine. ;National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC. Cellular and Genetic Toxicology Branch.;Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Health and Environmental Assessment.
Limited comparative data in mice indicate that chemical mutagens that induce dominant lethal mutations in males are not necessarily effective in females, but those which are effective in females are generally equally or more effective in males. Recently, however, a few chemicals have been identified that are female-specific with respect to induction of dominant lethal mutations. The antitumor antibiotic adriamycin is among them. Another antitumor antibiotic, bleomycin was examined for its ability to induce dominant lethal mutations in the reproductive cells of male and female mice. No dominant lethal or cytotoxic effects were observed in males treated with bleomycin, even at a maximum tolerated dose. In females, on the other hand, a dose nearly 1/4 of that used in males induced not only a high level of dominant lethal mutations but also killed oocytes in certain stages of follicular development. The effectiveness of bleomycin in inducing dominant lethal mutations in mouse oocytes makes it a valuable tool for investigating whether gonadal transport, inherent differences in the configuration of chromatin in the germ cells of the two sexes or other factors are responsible for the differential susceptibility to bleomycin, which implies potential gender-specific genetic risk in cancer chemotherapy. (Copyright (c) 1992 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.)