The action of the iron chelator desferrioxamine (DFO) on the cytogenetic pattern of cultured lymphocytes from Fanconi anemia (FA) patients was investigated. The addition of 10-4M DFO throughout the culture time resulted in a 50% reduction of the spontaneous chromosome breakage of FA cells. In addition, the clastogenic action of diepoxybutane on FA lymphocytes was also partly counteracted by DFO. The above findings support the assumption that one of the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of FA might be an impaired capacity of the cells from such patients to remove active oxygen species. The relationship between intraleukocyte chelatable iron pool and free radical formation in FA subjects is discussed.
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