Mutagenic potential of toluidine blue evaluated in the Ames test

Ann J. Dunipace, Rebecca Beaven, Timothy Noblitt, Li Yiming, Susan Zunt, George Stookey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Toluidine blue is a vital, metachromatic thiazine dye which is used as an adjunct in clinical examination for the early detection of asymptomatic recurrent or secondary primary carcinoma in individuals who are at high risk for developing oral cancer. Because available data on the mutagenicity of toluidine blue was limited and contradictory, this study was conducted to evaluate the mutagenic potential of toluidine blue in the in vitro Ames Salmonella test. Tester strains TA97a, TA98, TA100 and TA102 were used. Toluidine blue was tested at concentrations of 0.1, 1.0, 10, 50, 100, 250 and 500 μg/plate, with and without S9 microsomal activation, and positive and negative controls were included. Results from tests without S9 showed a significant increase (p < 0.05) in number of revertants in TA102 and in TA97a with 50 and 100 μg toluidine blue/plate, respectively. In tests with S9 activation, doses of toluidine blue ranging from 10 to 250 μg/plate induced dose-related increases in the number of revertants in all 4 strains. The results of this study indicate that toluidine blue has a mutagenic effect in the Ames test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-259
Number of pages5
JournalMutation Research/Genetic Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 16 1992


  • Ames test
  • Thiazine dye
  • Toluidine blue, mutagenic potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Genetics

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