The in vitro metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene by polychlorinated and polybrominated biphenyl induced rat hepatic microsomal monooxygenases. Academic Article uri icon


  • The metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene by halogenated biphenyl-induced rat hepatic microsomal monooxygenases was determined using a high pressure liquid chromatographic assay system. Incubation of benzo[a]pyrene with microsomes from rats pretreated with phenobarbitone or phenobarbitone-type inducers (2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl, 2,2',4,4',6,6'-hexachlorobiphenyl, 2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl, 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromobiphenyl, and 2,2',5,5'-tetrabromobiphenyl) resulted in increased overall metabolism of the hydrocarbon (less than fourfold) into phenolic, quinone, and diol metabolites, with the most striking increase observed in the formation of 4,5-dihydro-4,5-dihydroxybenzo[a]pyrene. In contrast, the metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene by microsomes from rats induced with 3-methylcholanthrene or 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl resulted in a greater than 10-fold increase in overall benzo[a]pyrene metabolism, with the largest increases observed in the formation of the trans-7,8- and -9,10-dihydrodiol metabolites of benzo[a]pyrene. However, in comparison to control and phenobarbitone-induced microsomes, the oxidative conversion of benzo[a]pyrene by microsomes induced with 3-methylcholanthrene and 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl into the 6,12-quinone was substantially inhibited. Previous reports have shown that the commercial halogenated biphenyl mixtures, fireMaster BP-6, and Aroclor 1254 are mixed-type inducers and that microsomes from rats pretreated with these mixtures markedly enhance the overall metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene. Not surprisingly, the metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene by microsomes from rats pretreated with the mixed-type inducers, 2,3,3',4,4'-penta-,2,3,3',4,4',5-hexa-, and 2',3,3',4,4',5-hexa- chlorobiphenyl was also increased and the metabolic profile was similar to that observed with fireMaster BP-6 and Aroclor 1254 induced microsomes.

published proceedings

  • Can J Physiol Pharmacol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Haake, J. M., Merrill, J. C., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Haake, JM||Merrill, JC||Safe, S

publication date

  • September 1985