Evaluation of in vivo mutagenicity of hydroquinone in Muta™ mice

Mariko Matsumoto, Shoji Masumori, Mutsuko Hirata-Koizumi, Atsushi Ono, Masamitsu Honma, Kazuhito Yokoyama, Akihiko Hirose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Hydroquinone (HQ) is used in skin bleaching agents, hair dyes, and finger nail treatments. Many skin-lightening cosmetics that contain HQ are currently marketed in Japan. Concerns have been expressed regarding health risks to the general population because the carcinogenicity of HQ was previously suggested in animal studies. HQ induced hepatocellular adenomas and forestomach hyperplasias in mice and renal tubular cell adenomas in male rats. In the present study, the lacZ transgenic mutation assay was conducted according to OECD test guideline 488 to determine whether mutagenic mechanisms were involved in HQ-induced carcinogenesis. Male Muta™ mice were repeatedly administered HQ orally at dosages of 0, 25, 50, 100, or 200. mg/kg bw/day for 28 days. Body weight gain was decreased in all treatment groups. No significant differences were observed in mutant frequencies in the liver, stomach, lung, or kidney between HQ-treated mice and the concurrent negative controls, whereas the significant induction of mutations was noted in the positive control, N-ethyl-. N-nitrosourea. These results suggest that a mutagenic mechanism is not responsible for HQ-induced carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-98
Number of pages5
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydroquinone
  • Mouse
  • Transgenic mutation assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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