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Toxicol Sci. 2010 Jun;115(2):322-9. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfq060. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Exposure-response of 1,2:3,4-diepoxybutane-specific N-terminal valine adducts in mice and rats after inhalation exposure to 1,3-butadiene.

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Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


1,3-Butadiene (BD) is a known rodent and human carcinogen that is metabolized mainly by P450 2E1 to three epoxides, 1,2-epoxy-3-butene (EB), 1,2:3,4-diepoxybutane (DEB), and 1,2-epoxy-3,4-butanediol. The individual epoxides vary up to 200-fold in their mutagenic potency, with DEB being the most mutagenic metabolite. It is important to understand the internal formation of the individual epoxides to assign the relative risk for each metabolite and to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for extensive species differences in carcinogenicity. This study presents a comprehensive exposure-response for the formation of the DEB-specific N,N-(2,3-dihydroxy-1,4-butadiyl)valine (pyr-Val) in mice and rats. Using nano-ultra high pressure liquid chromatography-tandem-mass spectrometry allowed analysis of pyr-Val in mice and rats exposed to BD as low as 0.1 and 0.5 ppm BD, respectively, and demonstrated significant differences in the amounts and exposure-response of pyr-Val formation. Mice formed 10- to 60-fold more pyr-Val compared to rats at similar exposures. The formation of pyr-Val increased with exposures, and the formation was most efficient with regard to formation per parts per million BD at low exposures. While formation at higher exposures appeared linear in mice, in rats formation saturated at exposures > or = 200 ppm for 10 days. In rats, amounts of pyr-Val were lower after 20 days than after 10 days of exposure, suggesting that the lifespan of rat erythrocytes may be shortened following exposure to BD. This research supports the hypothesis that the lower susceptibility of rats to BD-induced carcinogenesis results from greatly reduced formation of DEB following exposure to BD.

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