||Health Effects Research Lab., Research Triangle Park, NC. Genetic Toxicology Div. ;National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC. ;Microbiological Associates, Bethesda, MD. ;Environmental Health Research and Testing, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC. ;Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY. Medical Dept.
Methyl isocyanate (MIC) was tested for genetic toxicity in a variety of in vitro and in vivo assays. Negative results were obtained in the Salmonella/mammalian microsome assay using five bacterial strains in a preincubation protocol. The Drosophila sex-linked recessive lethal test also gave negative results in studies that involved three routes of administration: inhalation; feeding; and, injection. Positive results were obtained for three endpoints in cultured mammalian cells. Reproducible, dose-related increases in trifluorothymidine-resistant clones were induced in L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells, and the frequencies of both SCE and chromosomal aberrations increased in Chinese hamster ovary cells. These effects were independent of exogenous metabolism. In mice exposed to MIC by inhalation, cytogenetic analyses were carried out on bone marrow, blood, and lung cells. A single, 2-hr exposure to concentrations of 0, 3, 10, and 30 ppm MIC produced no evidence of chromosomal effects in the bone marrow, although significant cell cycle delay was observed.