The recent discovery that fullerenes (C60) can be produced in macroscopic quantities has sparked much interest in the chemistry of this unusual molecule. Concerns have also arose about the potential carcinogenic effects of this molecule. We have addressed the potential acute and subchronic toxic effects of fullerenes applied in benzene on the mouse skin. The acute toxic effects measured in this study included epidermal DNA synthesis and the induction of ornithine decarboxylase activity in the epidermis. At the topical dose of fullerenes used in these studies (i.e., 200 ug), we found no effect on either DNA synthesis or ornithine decarboxylase activity over a 72 hour time course after treatment. The subchronic effects of the fullerenes as a mouse skin tumor promoter was assessed by repeatedly applying the chemical to the skin after initiation with the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, 7,12- dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA). Repeated administration of the fullerenes for up to 24 weeks post-initiation did not result in either benign or malignant skin tumor formation, whereas promotion with the phorbol ester, 12-O- tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) resulted in the formation of benign skin tumors. Our data indicate that fullerenes applied in benzene at a likely industrial exposure level do not cause acute toxic effects on the mouse skin epidermis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis