Chromium is the proximate clastogenic species for lead chromate-induced clastogenicity in human bronchial cells

Sandra S. Wise, Amie L. Holmes, Michael E. Ketterer, Wendy J. Hartsock, Elena Fomchenko, Spiros Katsifis, W. Douglas Thompson, John Pierce Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a well-established human lung carcinogen with potentially widespread exposure. Solubility is a key factor in the carcinogenicity of Cr(VI), with the water-insoluble or 'particulate' compounds being the more potent carcinogens. Studies have indicated that the component ions are responsible for their clastogenicity, but it is uncertain whether chromium (Cr), lead (Pb) or some combination of the two is responsible for the clastogenic effects. Accordingly, we compared the clastogenicity of lead chromate (LC) with soluble sodium chromate (SC) and lead glutamate (LG) in WTHBF-6 human lung cells. We found that 1436μM was the maximal intracellular level of Pb after exposure to clastogenic concentrations of LC. However, clastogenesis was not observed after exposure to LG, even when intracellular Pb concentrations reached 13,347μM, indicating that intracellular Pb levels did not reach clastogenic levels in WTHBF-6 cells after LC treatment. By contrast, SC was clastogenic damaging 16 and 44% of metaphase cells at intracellular Cr doses of 312 and 1262μM respectively, which was comparable to the clastogenesis observed after LC treatment. LC damaged 10, 27 and 37% of metaphases at intracellular Cr doses of 288, 926 and 1644μM, respectively. These data indicate that with respect to LC-induced clastogenicity, Cr and not Pb is the proximate clastogenic species in human lung cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 9 2004


  • Chromium
  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • Clastogenicity
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Genotoxicity
  • Lead chromate
  • Lung cancer
  • Sodium chromate
  • WTHBF-6 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Chromium is the proximate clastogenic species for lead chromate-induced clastogenicity in human bronchial cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this