Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name




First Advisor

Dr. Rosalyn Patterson


The objective of this research was to study the cytogenetic effects of benzo(a)pyrene (BP) and Vitamin E (DL-alpha-tocopherol) on Chinese hamster (Don) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells.

CHO cells were exposed to a 0.1, 1, ad 5 ug/ml BP for 27 hrs. Observation revealed that BP caused chromosomal aberrations in CHO cell without metabolic activation. Types of aberrations observed were breaks, gaps, polyploids, fusions and endoreduplications. In other studies, Chinese hamster (Don) cells were exposed to 5 ug/ml BP activated by rat liver microsomal system (S9-mix). Cytogenic analysis indicated that S9-mix significantly increased the percentage of aberrations in Don cells incubated with BP for 37 degrees C for 4 hrs.

Antioxidant studies using CHO and Don cells indicated that vitamin E significantly reduced the percentages and types of chromosomal aberrations observed in activated and non-activated benzo(a)pyrene treated cells. DMSO was used as a solvent for dissolving BP. Studies showed that DMSO caused increased chromosomal aberrations in CHO and Don cells above control levels. The percentage of aberrations in DMSO control cells varied from 1 to 5% higher than untreated controls.

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