Ascorbate-Nitrite Reaction: Possible Means of Blocking the Formation of Carcinogenic N-Nitroso Compounds

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Science  07 Jul 1972:
Vol. 177, Issue 4043, pp. 65-68
DOI: 10.1126/science.177.4043.65


The formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds by the chemical reaction between nitrous acid and oxytetracycline, morpholine, piperazine, N-methylaniline, methylurea, and (in some experiments) dimethylamine was blocked by ascorbic acid. The extent of blocking depended on the compound nitrosated and on the experimental conditions. Urea and ammonium sulfamate were less effective as blocking agents. The possibility of in vivo formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds from drugs could be lessened by the combination of such drugs with the ascorbic acid.