Journal of
Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences

  • Abbreviation: J. Toxicol. Environ. Health Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9820
  • DOI: 10.5897/JTEHS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 206

Full Length Research Paper

Organic pollution from the Songhua River induces NIH 3T3 cell transformation: Potential risks for human health

Jia-Ren Liu1, 2*, Hong-Wei Dong1, Xuan-Le Tang1, Jia Yu1, Xiao-Hui Han1, Bing-Qing Chen1, Chang-Hao Sun1 and Bao-Feng Yang3
1Public Health College, Harbin Medical University, 157 BaoJian Road, NanGang District, Harbin, P. R. China 150086. 2Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115-5737, USA. 3Department of Pharmacology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, P. R. China 150081.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 November 2009
  •  Published: 31 December 2009


Epidemiological investigation has shown that organic contamination of the Songhua River is a risk
factor for tumor development among residents who live nearby. A mutagenesis is induced by organic
contamination using short-term genotoxic bio-assays. To further investigate the risk of carcinogenic
potential to human health, the NIH3T3 cell line was used to examine the induction of transformation by
diethyl ether extracts of water samples taken from the Songhua River in the summer of 1994 and the
winter of 1995. The results indicated that the malignant transformed foci were induced by diethyl ether
extracts. Cellular transformation frequencies showed a dose response. Malignant cells possessed
typical characteristics in cell growth and in the cellular anchorage dependent test while the control cells
did not. Thus, this study demonstrates diethyl ether extracts of water samples could induce cell
transformation of NIH3T3 cells. Evidence was provided the possible relationship between organic
pollution and carcinogenic potential.
Key words: Diethyl ether extracts, NIH3T3 cells, cell transformation, malignant cells, the Songhua River.