The mutagenicity of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin in V79 cells

T. Lawson, P. Gannett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


A crude mixture of capsaicinoids (CAPs) from Capsicum frutrescens, capsaicin (C) and dihydrocapsaicin (DC) but not 4-methyl-dihydrocapsaicin (MC), a synthetic homolog of DC, were mutagenic in the V79 assay. Oxidative metabolism of C and DC by microsomes or ferricyanide yielded a dimer of C or DC. Based on the lack of mutagenicity of MC, the mutagenicities of C and DC and the supporting chemical data, a mechanism of action involving an intermediate phenoxy radical is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-113
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 30 1989



  • V79 cells
  • capsaicin
  • dihydrocapsaicin
  • mutagenicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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