The level of spontaneous and gamma-radiation-induced mutations in the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl-transferase (hprt) locus as well as the decrease in frequency of these mutations in mice of various age pretreated with dietary supplements of an antioxidant mixture (vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, rutin, selenium, zinc) were studied in splenocytes of young (8-14-week-old) and aged (102-110-week-old) male C57BL/6 mice. The frequency of spontaneous mutations in splenocytes of 102-110-week-old mice was higher by 68-88% than that in mice aged 8-14 weeks. On gamma-irradiation (0.5-5.0 Gy) of mice, the frequency of radiation-induced mutations (Vf assay) in aged mice was 2.3 to 3.6 times (depending on dose) higher than in young ones. Daily supplements of an antioxidant mixture to the diet of mice prior to irradiation showed an antimutagenic effect. The values of mutant frequency reduction factor (MFRF) for 14-110-week-old mice fed with dietary antioxidants during 6 weeks prior to gamma-irradiation with doses of 2.0 and 5.0 Gy were 5.4 and 3.7, respectively. The frequency of radiation-induced mutations prevented or not prevented by antioxidants was much higher in aged mice than in young ones. © 1995 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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