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Mutat Res. 2002 Nov 26;521(1-2):1-9.

Tobacco-smoke exposure indicators and urinary mutagenicity.

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  • 1Section of Occupational Health, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, I-35128 Padova, Italy.


In this study, the correlation of indicators of external (i.e. mean daily intake of condensate, nicotine, tobacco and tobacco proteins, and daily number of cigarettes smoked) and of internal tobacco-smoke exposure (i.e. urinary 1-pyrenol, nicotine and its metabolites and trans,trans-muconic acid) with urinary mutagenicity, detected on YG1024 Salmonella typhimurium strain with S9, were examined in 118 smokers. An increase in urinary mutagenicity was clearly significantly correlated with each external and internal indicators of exposure to tobacco smoke (correlation coefficient (r) ranging between 0.22 and 0.54, P<0.01), with a greater extent in the case of indicators of internal dose. In multiple regression analysis, among the indicators of external exposure, daily tobacco intake was the only variable significantly associated with urinary mutagenicity (t=2.47, P=0.015, with partial contribution to r(2)=5.15%). Instead, when all indicators of exposure (external and internal) were considered in the analysis, the influence of urinary 1-pyrenol on urinary mutagenicity was predominant, followed by those of urinary trans,trans-muconic acid and nicotine plus metabolites (t=4.63, 2.73 and 2.08, P<0.001, P=0.002 and 0.04, with partial contribution to r(2)=17.0, 6.66 and 3.96%, respectively), with no influence at all of external tobacco-smoke exposure indicators. In conclusion, our results show that indicators of internal dose are better correlated with formation of mutagens in urine of smokers. Among these, the best indicator was urinary 1-pyrenol and this result designates the combustion processes of tobacco as the determining step for the formation of urinary mutagens. However, as these biomarkers cannot be analysed the amount of daily tobacco intake represent the best valuable index of external (presumptive) exposure to tobacco-smoke genotoxins.

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