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

Dose-dependent metabolism of benzene in hamsters, rats, and mice.

The disposition of oral doses of [14C]benzene was investigated using a range of doses that included lower levels (0.02 and 0.1 mg/kg) than have been studied previously in rat, mouse, and in hamster, a species which has not been previously examined for its capacity to metabolize benzene. Saturation of metabolism of benzene was apparent as the dose increased, and a considerable percentage of the highest doses (100 mg/kg) was exhaled unchanged. Most of the remainder of the radioactivity was excreted as metabolites in urine, and significant metabolite-specific changes occurred as a function of dose and species. Phenyl sulfate was the predominant metabolite in rat urine at all dose levels (64-73% of urinary radioactivity), followed by prephenlmercapturic acid (10-11%). Phenyl sulfate (24-32%) and hydroquinone glucuronide (27-29%) were the predominant metabolites formed by mice. Mice produced considerably more muconic acid (15%), which is derived from the toxic metabolite muconaldehyde, than did rats (7%) at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg. Unlike both rats and mice, hydroquinone glucuronide (24-29%) and muconic acid (19-31%) were the primary urinary metabolites formed by hamsters. Two metabolites not previously detected in the urine of rats or mice after single doses, 1,2,4-trihydroxybenzene and catechol sulfate, were found in hamster urine. These data indicate the hamsters metabolize benzene to more highly oxidized, toxic products than do rats or mice.[1]


  1. Dose-dependent metabolism of benzene in hamsters, rats, and mice. Mathews, J.M., Etheridge, A.S., Matthews, H.B. Toxicol. Sci. (1998) [Pubmed]
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