Male CD rats were injected with single i.p. doses of benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P), and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs), livers, and lungs were removed at various times after administration. DNA adducts were analyzed in each tissue by 32P postlabeling with nuclease P1 enhancement. Sister chromatid exchange frequencies were concomitantly measured in cultured whole blood. B(a)P-DNA adducts were observed in all three tissues from animals sacrificed between 1 and 56 days after injection. Maximal adduction levels occurred at about 4 days after administration, followed by a gradual loss of adducts over the period examined. The apparent half-lives of total DNA adducts were 15 days in liver, 17 days in PBLs, and 22 days in lung. Induced sister chromatid exchanges were linearly related to the amount of DNA adducts remaining in the PBLs at the time of harvest up to 56 days and were significantly elevated above concurrent controls up to 14 days.

One of the major adducts found in each tissue was N2-{10β-[7β,8α,9α-trihydroxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo(a)pyrene]yl}deoxyguanosine. An additional novel major adduct was found in the liver DNA and is derived from the further metabolism of B(a)P-trans-7,8-dihydrodiol. A second major novel B(a)P adduct was found in the DNA of lung tissues and accounts for about 40% of the total adducts present. Experimental evidence suggests that this adduct is derived from a metabolic pathway that includes the formation of 9-hydroxy-B(a)P.


This research was supported in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency Cooperative Research Agreements CR813840 and CR816185. This manuscript has not been subjected to Agency review and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

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