Multi-bioassay approach for assessing the potency of complex mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Academic Article uri icon


  • The chick embryotoxicity screening test (CHEST) and the Salmonella/microsome bioassay were used to evaluate embryotoxic and mutagenic endpoints from crude coal tar (CT) and its fractionated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixtures (designated as A, B, C, D and E). In the CHEST assay, CT and PAH mixtures were injected into the egg yolk. A dose-dependent increase in embryo mortality was observed for all fractions. The E fraction resulted in 47% embryo mortality at a dose of 0.125 mg/kg and was more toxic than CT. At a dose of 1 mg/kg, 85-100% embryonic deaths occurred in fractions C and D and these two fractions were more potent than fractions A and B. The main visual toxic manifestations were liver lesions, discoloration of the liver, and edema. Both CT and fractionated PAH mixtures were also tested in the Salmonella/microsome plate incorporation assay with Salmonella typhimurium strain TA98 and were evaluated with and without metabolic activation at five dose levels. In the presence of S9, the CT and fractions C, D and E induced a dose-dependent positive response. Results from the Salmonella/microsome assay were in good agreement with findings from the CHEST assay suggesting that these two bioassays in combination may facilitate the rapid detection and ranking of complex PAH mixtures.

published proceedings

  • Chemosphere

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Mayura, K., Huebner, H. J., Dwyer, M. R., McKenzie, K. S., Donnelly, K. C., Kubena, L. F., & Phillips, T. D.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Mayura, K||Huebner, HJ||Dwyer, MR||McKenzie, KS||Donnelly, KC||Kubena, LF||Phillips, TD

publication date

  • April 1999