Alkaline elution was done on a variety of cells following cyclophosphamide (CY) treatment in vivo. Cells used were L1210 leukemia, normal mouse bone marrow, and peripheral blood cells obtained from a patient with chronic lymphatic leukemia (CLL). Endpoints used were determination of single strand breaks, DNA-DNA interstrand and DNA-protein cross-links.

After treatment of mice with CY (4 mg/mouse), low levels of single strand breaks were observed in both L1210 leukemia and CDF1 normal bone marrow. When a patient with CLL was treated with CY (750 mg/m2), no evidence of single strand breaks could be demonstrated.

Maximum levels of DNA-DNA interstrand cross-links were observed in mice 2 h after injection of CY for the L1210 leukemia cells [175 ± 25 rad-equivalents (req)] and at 4 h for the CDF1 normal bone marrow cells (47 ± 9 req). In human CLL, maximum levels were observed 12 h after injection of CY. Peak levels of DNA-DNA interstrand cross-links were approximately 4-fold lower in CDF1 normal bone marrow cells than in L1210 leukemia. The frequencies measured in human CLL cells were relatively low at any timepoint (mean at 12 h = 36 req).

Maximum levels of DNA-protein cross-links were observed 4 h after injection of CY (4 mg/mouse) for both L1210 leukemia [123 req (mean)] and normal bone marrow cells [50 req (mean)]. DNA-protein cross-links were measurable in CLL at timepoints later than 4 h after the start of injection of CY. In order to obtain equitoxicity between L1210 leukemia and CDF1 normal bone marrow cells, about 18-fold higher doses of CY had to be given than in the case of the normal bone marrow cells. In contrast, only 4-fold higher doses had to be given to the normal bone marrow to obtain equivalent peak levels of DNA-DNA interstrand cross-links.

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This investigation was supported by the Ben Kasle Flow Cytometry Facility of the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Metropolitan Detroit and USDHHS CA-22453.

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