ß-chloroprene (2-chloro-1,3-butadiene), a monomer used in the production of neoprene elastomers, is of regulatory interest due to the production of multi-organ tumors in mouse and rat cancer bioassays. A significant increase in female mouse lung tumors was observed at the lowest exposure concentration of 12.8 ppm while a small, but not statistically significant, increase was observed in female rats only at the highest exposure concentration of 80 ppm. The metabolism of chloroprene results in the generation of reactive epoxides and the rate of overall chloroprene metabolism is highly species dependent. To identify potential key events in the mode-of-action of chloroprene lung tumorigenesis, dose response and time course gene expression microarray measurements were made in the lungs of female mice and female rats. The gene expression changes were analyzed using both a traditional analysis of variance approach followed by pathway enrichment analysis and a pathway-based benchmark dose (BMD) analysis approach. Pathways related to glutathione biosynthesis and metabolism were the primary pathways consistent with cross-species differences in tumor incidence and transcriptional BMD values for the pathway were more similar to differences in tumor response than were estimated target tissue dose surrogates based on the total amount of chloroprene metabolized per unit mass of lung tissue per day. The closer correspondence of the transcriptional changes with the tumor response are likely due to their reflection of the overall balance between metabolic activation and detoxication reactions whereas the current tissue dose surrogate reflects only oxidative metabolism.
Female mice (B6C3F1/Crl) were exposed to chloroprene (CAS 126-99-8) by whole-body inhalation exposure at 0, 0.3, 2, 13, or 90 ppm. Exposures were performed for 6 hr/day, 5 days per week. The animals were sacrified at 5 days or 19 days (15 exposure days) post initiation of exposure. The right lung was excised and gene expression microarray analysis was performed using Affymetrix Mouse 430_2 arrays. Female rats (F344/NCrl) were exposed to chloroprene (CAS 126-99-8) by whole-body inhalation exposure at 0, 5, 30, 90, or 200 ppm. Exposures were performed for 6 hr/day, 5 days per week. The animals were sacrified at 5 days or 19 days (15 exposure days) post initiation of exposure. The right lung was excised and gene expression microarray analysis was performed using Affymetrix Rat 230_2 arrays.