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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ethylbenzene-mediated induction of cytochrome P450 isozymes in male and female rats.

Male and female Holtzman rats were exposed to ethylbenzene, and the effect on liver microsomal activities was studied. Hydrocarbon- and sex-dependent effects on P450-dependent metabolism of drugs and aromatic hydrocarbons were investigated. Hydrocarbon treatment produced two patterns of induction in cytochrome P450-dependent activities: (1) induction common to both sexes; and (2) induction exclusively in females. Benzphetamine N-demethylation, 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylation, p-nitroanisole O-demethylation and aromatic hydroxylation of toluene were induced in both sexes after rats were exposed to ethylbenzene. The rate of benzphetamine N-demethylation increased 4-fold in females and nearly doubled in males. The increase in O-deethylation of 7-ethoxycoumarin was 3-fold in females and doubled in males, while p-nitroanisole O-demethylation increased 4-fold in both sexes after exposure to ethylbenzene. Ethylbenzene had its greatest effect upon the formation of aromatic hydroxylated metabolites of toluene. Ethylbenzene exposure increased the rate of o-cresol formation by 4- and 9-fold in female and male rats, respectively. The formation rate of p-cresol was undetectable in either sex prior to hydrocarbon exposure; however, after the rats were given ethylbenzene, rates increased to 0.4 nmol/min/mg protein in females and to 0.9 nmol/min/mg protein in the males. Ethylbenzene exposure selectively induced aminopyrine demethylation, aniline hydroxylation, N,N-dimethylnitrosamine N-demethylation (DMNA) and aliphatic hydroxylation of toluene in females. Rates for aminopyrine, aniline, and DMNA were increased 50% over controls, while formation of benzyl alcohol from toluene was enhanced to 260% of control. Western immunoblotting indicated that ethylbenzene treatment induced cytochrome P450 2B1/2B2 to a greater extent in male rats and cytochrome P450 2E1 only in females. Ethylbenzene exposure did not affect significantly the level of cytochrome P450 1A1.[1]


  1. Ethylbenzene-mediated induction of cytochrome P450 isozymes in male and female rats. Sequeira, D.J., Eyer, C.S., Cawley, G.F., Nick, T.G., Backes, W.L. Biochem. Pharmacol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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