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

Metabolism of 1-nitropyrene in germ-free and conventional rats.

The distribution, covalent binding and metabolism of radioactive 1-nitropyrene (1-NP) were examined following its oral administration to conventional and germ-free male Wistar rats. With both groups of animals, the liver, kidney, bladder, adipose tissue and gastrointestinal tract had the highest specific radioactivity. However, the maximum concentration of radioactivity occurred at 12 hr in conventional rats as compared to 24 hr in germ-free animals. This difference may be due to the faster transit time of the intestinal contents through conventional rats. At 48 hr after treatment, the covalent binding of 1-NP metabolites was greatest in liver and kidney of conventional rats, while in germ-free rats, substantial binding was also found in the gastrointestinal tract. The mutagenic activity in Salmonella typhimurium TA98 of fecal extracts and urine from conventional rats was greater in the presence of an S9 mix, whereas similar extracts from germ-free animals were more mutagenic in the absence of S9. The major fecal metabolites in germ-free rats were (in order of decreasing concentration): 3-nitropyrenol greater than 1-NP greater than 4,5-dihydroxy-4,5-dihydro-1-NP greater than 6-nitropyrenol greater than 8-nitropyrenol. With the exception of 1-NP, similar metabolites were found in the urine as their glucuronide conjugates. In the feces from conventional rats, substantial nitro reduction and N-acetylation occurred with the major metabolites being: 1-NP greater than 1-aminopyrene greater than 8-acetylaminopyrenol greater than 6-acetylaminopyrenol greater than 3-acetylaminopyrenol. The major metabolites identified in the urine from conventional rats were glucuronide conjugates of 6- and 8-acetylaminopyrenol, while the major biliary conjugates identified were glucuronide conjugates of 4,5-dihydroxy-4,5-dihydro-1-NP and 3-, 6-, and 8-nitropyrenol, although the relative proportion of glucuronide conjugates of 6- and 8-aminopyrenol and 6- and 8-acetylaminopyrenol increased in later stages of the biliary excretion. The polar and beta-glucuronidase-refractory metabolites, which may be sulfate and glutathione conjugates, remain to be identified.[1]


  1. Metabolism of 1-nitropyrene in germ-free and conventional rats. Kinouchi, T., Morotomi, M., Mutai, M., Fifer, E.K., Beland, F.A., Ohnishi, Y. Jpn. J. Cancer Res. (1986) [Pubmed]
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