1. DNA was extracted from livers, kidneys and lungs of Syrian golden hamsters at various times (up to 96h) after injection of a hepatocarcinogenic dose of [14C]dimethylnitrosamine. Purine bases were released from the DNA by mild acid hydrolysis and separated by Sephadex G-10 chromatography. 2. At 7h after dimethylnitrosamine administration liver DNA was alkylated to the greatest extent, followed by that of lung and kidney, the values for which were 8 and 3% respectively of those for liver. 3. The O6-methylguanine/7-methylguanine ratios were initially the same in all three organs and in the liver DNA of rats under similar conditions of dose. 4. O6-Methylguanine was the most persistent alkylated purine in all three hamster tissues. There was evidence for excision of 7-methyl-guanine, the highest activity for this being present in the liver. 5. Detectable amounts of the minor products 3-methyladenine, 1-methyladenine, 3-methylguanine and 7-methyladenine were present in most hamster tissues, and their individual rates of loss from liver DNA were determined. 6. Ring-labelling of the normal purines in DNA was highest in the liver, followed closely by the lung (80% of that in liver) whereas the kidney had very low incorporation (3% of that in liver). 7. The results are discussed with respect to the hepatotoxicity of dimethylnitrosamine, the miscoding potential of the various alkylation products and the induction of liver tumours in hamsters.

This content is only available as a PDF.