The utility of the microsomal 4-chlorobiphenyl hydroxylase enzyme assay in distinguishing between phenobarbitone- and 3-methylcholanthrene-induced microsomal monooxygenases. Academic Article uri icon


  • 4-Chlorobiphenyl was used as a substrate for the in vitro determination of rat hepatic microsomal, cytochrome P-450-dependent monooxygenase activity. The 4-chlorobiphenyl hydroxylase assay was tested for its ability to distinguish between a variety of phenobarbitone- and 3-methylcholanthrene-type inducers. Two radiometric procedures were employed to investigate the metabolism of 4-chlorobiphenyl. First, the metabolite profile of 4-chlorobiphenyl was analyzed by radio-thin-layer chromatography. This procedure permitted an assessment of the effects of microsomal enzyme inducers on both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of 4-chlorobiphenyl metabolism. Second, the rate of 4-chlorobiphenyl metabolism was determined by a differential extraction procedure which separated unreacted starting material (hexane phase) from metabolites (base phase). This procedure provided a rapid measurement of the overall activity of 4-chlorobiphenyl hydroxylase. Irrespective of the animal pretreatment, the metabolite profile of 4-chlorobiphenyl was dominated by 4-chloro-4-biphenyl. Unlike the qualitative aspects, the quantitative aspects of 4-chlorobiphenyl metabolism were markedly influenced by animal pretreatment. Specifically, 3-methylcholanthrene-type inducers (3-methylcholanthrene and 3,3,4,4-tetrachlorobiphenyl) enhanced the activity of 4-chlorobiphenyl hydroxylase at least 10 times more than phenobarbitone-type inducers (phenobarbitone, 2,2,4,4-tetrachlorobiphenyl, and 2,2,4,4,5,5-hexachlorobiphenyl) enabling these two classes of inducers to be clearly distinguished. It is concluded that 4-chlorobiphenyl is preferentially metabolized by the 3-methylcholanthrene-inducible form(s) of cytochrome P-450 and that this class of microsomal enzyme inducers can be readily distinguished from phenobarbitone-type inducers by means of the 4-chlorobiphenyl hydroxylase assay. 1980.

published proceedings

  • Anal Biochem

author list (cited authors)

  • Parkinson, A., Copp, L., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Parkinson, A||Copp, L||Safe, S

publication date

  • June 1980