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An Inter-laboratory Collaborative Study by the Non- Genotoxic Carcinogen Study Group in Japan, on a Cell Transformation Assay for Tumour Promoters Using Bhas 42 cells

Kiyomi Ohmori,Makoto Umeda,Noriho Tanaka,Hiroki Takagi,Isao Yoshimura,Kiyoshi Sasaki, Shin Asada, Ayako Sakai, Harumi Araki, Masumi Asakura, Hiroshi Baba, Yuichi Fushiwaki, Shuichi Hamada, Nobuko Kitou, Tetsu Nakamura,Yoshiyuki Nakamura, Hidetoshi Oishi, Satoshi Sasaki, Sawako Shimada, Toshiyuki suchiya,Yoshifumi Uno, Masataka Washizuka, Satoshi Yajima, Yasuhito Yamamoto, Eiji Yamamura and Tomoko Yatsushiro

The Bhas promotion assay is a cell culture transformation assay designed as a sensitive and economical method for detecting the tumour-promoting activities of chemicals. In order to validate the transferability and applicability of this assay, an inter-laboratory collaborative study was conducted with the participation of 14 laboratories. After confirmation that these laboratories could obtain positive results with two tumour promoters, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and lithocholic acid (LCA), 12 coded chemicals were assayed. Each chemical was tested in four laboratories. For eight chemicals, all four laboratories obtained consistent results, and for two of the other four chemicals, only one of the four laboratories showed inconsistent results. Thus, the rate of consistency was high. During the study, several issues were raised, each of which were analysed step-by-step, leading to revision of the protocol of the original assay. Among these issues were the importance of careful maintenance of mother cultures and the adoption of test concentrations for toxic chemicals. In addition, it is suggested that three different types of chemicals show positive promoting activity in the assay. Those designated as T-type induced extreme growth enhancement, and included TPA, mezerein, PDD and insulin. LCA and okadaic acid belonged to the L-type category, in which transformed foci were induced at concentrations showing growth-inhibition. In contrast, M-type chemicals, progesterone, catechol and sodium saccharin, induced foci at concentrations with little or slight growth inhibition. The fact that different types of chemicals similarly induce transformed foci in the Bhas promotion assay may provide clues for elucidating mechanisms of tumour promotion.