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Direct quantification of gamma H2AX by cell‐based high throughput screening for evaluation of genotoxicity of pesticides in a human thyroid cell lines

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Genotoxicity is thought to be the cause of many cancers. Genotoxicity due to environmental toxins may be partly responsible for the dramatic increase in the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer over the past two decades. Here, we present a fully automatable assay platform that directly quantifies the phosphorylation of nuclear histone gamma H2AX (γH2AX), a specific cellular marker for DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) via immunohistochemistry and laser scanning cytometry. It multiplexes γH2AX with total cell number measured as propidium iodide and calculates the percentage of cells with DSBs. Validation of this assay using NTHY-ori-3-1 human thyroid cells and etoposide showed that it was an excellent choice for high throughput applications. We used the assay to test the genotoxic effects of the EPA Toxcast Phase 1 pesticide library of 309 compounds. Compounds were evaluated in dose response and the DSB was quantified. We found that 19 pesticides induce DSB in vitro, highlighting a need to further assess these pesticides for their long-term oncogenic effects on the thyroid gland. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 58:522-528, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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