Enhancement of the repair of carcinogen-induced DNA damage in the hamster pancreas by dietary selenium

T. Lawson, D. F. Birt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We measured single strand breaks (SSB) in pancreas DNA produced by N-nitrosobis(2-oxopropyl)amine (BOP) in hamsters fed purified diets containing added sodium selenite (Se) at 0.0, 0.1 and 5.0 ppm. There were fewer SSB in those given the 5.0 ppm Se diet throughout the experiment. One hour after dosing with BOP (20 mg/kg), there were 2.26 ± 0.47, 2.83 ± 0.43 and 1.74 ± 0.43 SSB per 108 daltons (mean ± S.E.M.) respectively in the three groups. The SSB were repaired faster in the 5.0 ppm Se-fed group. The approximate half-lives of the SSB were 33, 30 and 8 days, respectively. In the hamsters fed 5.0 ppm Se there was a small, statistically significant increase in pancreatic DNA synthesis. Autoradiographic analysis indicated that this was repair synthesis. In a second experiment, hamsters were fed one of the three diets prior to and for 2 days after administration of a single dose of BOP (20 mg/kg). They were then fed the 5.0 ppm Se diet for 5 days. The number of SSB was compared with those in hamsters fed their original diet for 7 days after BOP dosing. There was a statistically significant difference in the number of SSB in the hamsters fed 0.1 ppm Se before and for 2 days after BOP. In these hamsters there were 1.21 ± 0.24 SSB per 108 daltons compared with 3.19 ± 0.4 (mean ± S.E.M.). These results suggest high levels of dietary Se stimulate the repair of carcinogen-induced DNA damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • Pancreas - Selenium - Carcinogen - DNA repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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