Nitrofurantoin was not positive as a carcinogen in long term assays. In vitro it was positive in some short term tests and negative in others. We have examined Nitrofurantoin for its capability of inducing DNA damage in vivo. With the alkaline elution technique, Nitrofurantoin appeared clearly positive in all the tissues examined (liver, kidney, lung, spleen and bone marrow). In the liver we also observed some cross-linking effect. In bone marrow cells Nitrofurantoin was also clearly positive in terms of sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) induction. DNA damage in vivo was also examined with a viscosimetric method, more sensitive than alkaline elution. With this method the results were essentially negative, suggesting that the two methods detect different types of damage. In view of its positivity in many organs and in two short term tests in vivo, the carcinogenic potential of Nitrofurantoin should be reconsidered.
- Nitrofurantoin - DNA damage - Sister chromatid exchanges - Viscosimetry - Alkaline elution
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