Modulation of mustard toxicity by tacrine Academic Article uri icon


  • Compounds containing the chloroethyl group are potent inhibitors of DNA synthesis and cell growth. Tacrine, a choline carrier inhibitor, was found to protect both HeLa cells and rat thymocytes against the effects of nitrogen mustard. DNA synthesis was restored from 13 to 71% of the control value and cell viability restored from 27 to 57% of the control value by exposure of the cells to an equimolar concentration of tacrine immediately prior to nitrogen mustard. In contrast, tacrine was unable to significantly protect rat thymocytes against the toxic effects of sulphur mustard. These results have implications for the clinical use of nitrogen mustard.


  • Phillips, Don
  • Gray, Peter
  • Lewis, Kate
  • Masta, Andrew
  • Phlllips, Don

publication date

  • February 1994