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J Environ Biol. 2005 Apr;26(2):157-68.

Biochemical toxicity of benzene.

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  • 1Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Ch Charan Singh University, Meerut 250 004, India. sureshvs_rana@yahoo.com

Abstract

Human exposure to benzene in work environment is a global occupational health problem. After inhalation or absorption, benzene targets organs viz. liver, kidney, lung, heart and brain etc. It is metabolized mainly in the liver by cytochrome P450 multifunctional oxygenase system. Benzene causes haematotoxicity through its phenolic metabolites that act in concert to produce DNA strand breaks, chromosomal damage, sister chromatid exchange, inhibition of topoisomerase II and damage to mitotic spindle. The carcinogenic and myelotoxic effects of benzene are associated with free radical formation either as benzene metabolites or lipid peroxidation products. Benzene oxide and phenol have been considered as proheptons. Liver microsomes play an important role in biotransformation of benzene whereas in kidney, it produces degenerative intracellular changes. Cohort studies made in different countries suggest that benzene induces multiple myeloma in petrochemical workers. Though extensive studies have been performed on its toxicity, endocrinal disruption caused by benzene remains poorly known. Transgenic cytochrome P450 IIE1 mice may help in understanding further toxic manifestations of benzene.

PMID:
16161967
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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