Publications : 1991

Vater STHollingsworth LBaldwin DMWarshawsky D. 1991. Comparative metabolism of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene by the perfused liver and liver microsomal preparations from Sprague-Dawley rats. Carcinogenesis 12(12):2379–2382.


The metabolism of DMBA by microsomes and various cell cultures has been widely studied. However, the biotransformation of this compound by intact organs has not been well characterized. In order to compare the metabolism of DMBA in the whole liver with that in subcellular preparations, we used an in situ single-pass rat liver perfusion system and rat liver microsomes. [14C]DMBA was infused into the livers of Sprague-Dawley rats during the first 60 min of a 120 min perfusion. HPLC analysis of extracts of perfusate samples indicated that DMBA was rapidly oxidized in this system to a series of metabolites. The major products were polar metabolites including the trans-5,6- and the trans-10,11-dihydrodiols (46%), the trans-3,4-dihydrodiol (5%) and the 7-OHM-12-MBA and the 12-OHM-7-MBA metabolites (12%) of DMBA. Microsomes prepared from livers of corn oil treated rats were incubated with [14C]DMBA for 60 min, then extracted. In the microsomal system the major DMBA metabolites were the trans-8,9-dihydrodiol (6%), the 7- and 12-hydroxymethyl (20%), and the 3- and 4-hydroxy (11%) of DMBA with the more polar metabolites and the trans-3,4-dihydrodiol present at lower levels (12 and 3% respectively). This is the first report of DMBA metabolism in a whole liver preparation and the results are clearly different from those obtained in subcellular preparations in our laboratory and in cell culture systems elsewhere. These results have important implications for understanding DMBA biotransformation in vivo.