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Cancer. 1977 Nov;40(5 Suppl):2436-45.

Investigations into the metabolism and mode of action of the colon carcinogens 1,2-dimethylhydrazine and azoxymethane.

Abstract

Colon cancer can be induced reliably in rodents with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine and azoxymethane (AOM). Our studies deal with the mode of action of these compounds and their organotropism. A partial summary of our previous work on the metabolism of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine and its inhibition by disulfiram, carbon disulfide and other thiono-sulfur compounds is presented. On-going studies with AOM-14C indicate that in male F-344 rats, this carcinogen is rapidly metabolized to 14CO2 (37%, 48 hours), and to methylazoxymethanol-14C (MAM) (0.6--1%), which, along with other metabolites, appears in the urine. Pretreatment of rats with phenobarbital or chyrsene increased exhaled 14CO2 to 53% and 65%, respectively. Pretreatment with disulfiram or CS2 causes a complete, although transient, inhibition of exhaled 14CO2, decreases urinary MAM, and increases significantly the levels of unmetabolized AOM in the exhaled air and in urine. Thus, phenobarbital and chrysene appear to stimulate, while disulfiram and CS2 appear to inhibit, the metabolism of AOM. In vitro hydroxylation of AOM to MAM was demonstrated with rat liver homogenates and microsomal fractions. A hypothetical scheme for the endogenous formation of AOM is presented.

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