Genotoxicity of structurally related copper and zinc containing Schiff base complexes

Omar F. Khabour, Na'Il Saleh, Karem H. Alzoubi, Soleiman Hisaindee, Doaa Al-Fyad, Leena Al-Kaabi, Arwa Dodeen, Fatima T. Esmadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The utilization of Schiff bases in the industrial and pharmaceutical fields has led to an increase in their syntheses and evaluation of their biological activities. In this study, we described the synthesis and genotoxicity of two Schiff bases that share common platform in their construction, namely, naphthalene, and are complexed to either Cu(II) or Zn(II). The genotoxicity of these complexes was evaluated in cultured lymphocytes using sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and chromosomal aberrations (CAs), and in rats using the urine 8-OH-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) assay. The results showed that the examined complexes are genotoxic, but with different degrees. The order of genotoxicity of the complexes at 10/mL was: Cu(L3)(NCS)(H2O)>Zn(L 3)(NCS)(H2O)>Cu(L2)(NCS)>Zn(L2)(NCS), where L2 and L3 are the conjugate bases of N-(8-quinolyl)napthaldimine and N-(anilinyl)napthaldimine, respectively. However, at the 1-g/mL concentration, only the Cu(L3)(NCS)(H2O) complex induced significant CAs, whereas at the 0.1-g/mL concentration, only Cu(L3)(NCS)(H2O) and Zn(L2)(NCS) complexes induced significant SCEs, compared to controls. In the urine 8-OH-dG assay, all complexes at 10mg/100g body weight (b.w.) were found to cause DNA damage with the following order: Cu(L3)(NCS)(H2O)>Zn(L2)(NCS) >Zn(L3)(NCS)(H2O)>Cu(L2)(NCS), whereas no significant DNA damage was observed in animals exposed to 1 and 0.1mg/100g b.w. (p>0.05). In conclusion, the two examined Schiff base complexes are found to induce DNA damage, but with different degrees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • 8-OH-dG
  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • Copper
  • DNA damage
  • Schiff bases
  • Sister chromatid exchange
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology
  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Pharmacology


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