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Platinum Toxicity and Gene Expression in Xenopus Embryos: Analysis by FETAX and Differential Display

Claudio Monetti, Giovanni Bernardini, Davide Vigetti, Mariangela Prati, Salvador Fortaner, Enrico Sabbioni and Rosalba Gornati

Since the level of platinum in the environment is destined to increase, because of its use in vehicle catalytic converters, the toxicity of platinum needs further investigation. In this study, the frog embryo teratogenesis assay–Xenopus (FETAX) was used to compare the embryotoxicity and teratogenicity of two common platinum species, (NH4)2PtCl4 and (NH4)2PtCl6. The uptake rates of the two platinum species were studied, and also their effects on the expression of genes encoding metallothionein and heat-shock protein 70, which are known to be induced by several stress factors. In addition, the differential display technique was used to search for genes that were specifically induced by platinum. A gene for the type I collagen α-chain and a novel gene were identified.