Sodium arsenite (SA) is a compound with formula NaAsO2. It is the sodium salt of arsenous acid which was tested for its clastogenic effect alone and in combination with gamma rays on the whole blood culture and on isolated lymphocyte culture. The results showed a significant difference in the yield of aberrations induced with respect to the culture time of 48 hours. Whole blood culture showed significant increase in gaps and breaks, whereas isolated lymphocytes culture showed significant inhibition of cell cycle and 75 percent of the lymphocytes were in their first cell cycle at 72 hours. Arsenite showed co-mutagenicity with different doses of gamma rays delivered immediately or few hours after treatment of the culture with SA. The results suggest that SA also is mutagenic at the dose level used and provide support for the indispensability of whole blood culture for evaluation of the in vivo effect of any suspected mutagen. Using isolated lymphocytes appear to have problems leading to extensive cell cycle delay.


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  • Received: 08 May 2012
  • Accepted: 08 May 2012
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