Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Chemistry and Biochemistry


Chemistry, Biochemistry.




In this study, an in vitro human cell culture, the HepG2 cell line, has been adapted and calibrated to be used as a surrogate human model system in environmental toxicology studies. To evaluate both cellular and genetic effects of test chemicals, a cytotoxicity test and a genotoxicity test were developed in the HepG2 cell line. A Neutral Red (NR) dye-uptake assay was used to assess cytotoxicity, and an alkaline unwinding, DNA break assay (AU) was developed to detect genotoxicity of both known toxicants as well as unknown environmental samples. The response of the NR and AU bioassays was calibrated by using known mutagens. Dose-response relationships were demonstrated in both assays for methyl methansulphonate, 4-nitroquinoline, 9,10-phenanthrenequinone, and benzo(a)pyrene. The effect or serum supplementation in the culture system on the toxic effects of tested chemicals were also studied. The toxicity of highly hydrophobic chemicals such as benzo(a)pyrene was enhanced when applied in serum-containing media. The potential toxicity of a number of environmental samples including lake sediments, fish tissues, and eagle eggs were evaluated. Sediments were collected from a number of sites in the Huron-Erie corridor and extracts were prepared in two fractions composed of OCCs (i.e., organochlorinated compounds) and PAHs (i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Both contaminant fractions obtained from different sites in the Great Lakes Basin were cyto- and genotoxic in the HepG2 system to various degrees. Contaminants extracted from Lake Erie fish tissues and eagle eggs were composed of mostly pp$\sp\prime$-DDE and Arochlor 1254:1260 and demonstrated significant cyto- and genotoxicity in HepG2 cells. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .A22. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-06, page: 2373. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.