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EC number: 231-843-4
CAS number: 7758-94-3
This study was undertaken to assess the effects of iron status on the
gastrointestinal tract using the nuclear aberrations assay of Wargovich
et al. (1983).
Groups of 4 - 9 C57BL/6J female mice received a single dose of ferric
chloride either orally or intrarectally (2, 6.5 and 13 mg Fe/kg by both
routes) at a volume of 0.2 ml in saline. The lowest dose tested was
equivalent to a therapeutic dose in iron deficiency anaemia. The iron
compounds were administered to both fasting and non-fasting mice (oral
administration only). Samples of fore stomach, duodenum and colon were
taken following oral administration and colon samples after intrarectal
administration. The samples were examined for micronulei and nuclear
aberration postulating that micronuclei are a specific sign of genetic
damage while nuclear aberrations are more unspecific effects related to
Ferric chloride did not significantly increase the incidence of
micronuclei in the stomach, duodenum or colon following oral
administration and only marginally in the colon after intrarectal
administration. In the stomach, duodenum and colon nuclear aberrations
indicating cellular toxicity were increased in fasting mice receiving
oral ferric chloride. Following intrarectal administration ferric
chloride showed cellular toxicity to the colon producing increase in
Since nuclear aberrations are more unspecific effects related to
cellular toxicity ferric chloride does not appear to have a significant
genotoxic effect under the conditions of this test system.
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