Retinyl acetate, 13-cis-retinoic acid (13cisRA), and N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-retinamide (4HPR) were assayed for their in vivo effects on hepatic levels of cytochrome P450, cytosolic glutathione-S-transferase, and quinone reductase. When given p.o. to Spragne-Dawley rats, all of the retinoids caused significant suppression in the levels of arylhydrocarbon hydroxylase, yet 13cisRA and 4HPR caused elevations in cytosolic levels of quinone reductase and glutathione-S-transferase, respectively. Scans of sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels of microsomal proteins from the livers of retinoid-dosed animals showed changes in both the intensities and the number of stained bands. For microsomes from 13cisRA-dosed animals, there were additional changes in the absorption maximum of the carbon monoxide and octylamine difference spectra. There was, compared to controls, a 62% reduction in the NADPH-dependent binding of (+)-7S-trans-7,8-dihydro[7-14C]benzo(a)pyrene-7,8-

diol to microsomal proteins from 13cisRA-dosed animals. Fluorography of the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels showed that the major reduction in metabolite binding occurred in the Mr 50,000 region of the gel.

The reduction in the NADPH-dependent binding of (+)-7S-trans-7,8-dihydro[7-14C]benzo(a)pyrene-7,8-

diol to microsomal proteins in vitro and the reduction in hepatic arylhydrocarbon hydroxylase levels correlated with a reduction in the in vivo binding of benzo(a)pyrene to rat liver DNA. Animals dosed for 7 days with 13cisRA, retinyl acetate, or 4HPR showed a 38, 27, and 40% reduction in binding of benzo(a)pyrene to liver DNA and a 29, 32, and 21% reduction in binding to stomach DNA, respectively, when the carcinogen was administered on the eighth day, and the tissues were harvested 24 h later. Binding to lung DNA was reduced by 23 and 11%, respectively, in the 13cisRA- and 4HPR-dosed rats. No differences were observed in binding to kidney. Thus, retinoids, by altering the metabolism of carcinogens, could influence the initiation stage of carcinogenesis.


This work was supported by contract NO1-CP-41005, DCPC, National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services.

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