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Mutat Res. 1982 Jun;94(2):339-48.

Metabolic activation of benzo[a]pyrene, aflatoxin B1, and dimethylnitrosamine by a human hepatoma cell line.


The metabolism of chemical carcinogens by a human hepatoma cell line, huH-1, was studied. The huH-1 line has been derived from a hepatoma of a 57-year-old HBs-antigen carrier and cultivated for several years. The hepatoma cells metabolized about 90% of 5 microM benzo[a]pyrene into water-soluble products within 24 h. Aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity in huH-1 cells was induced to 24 times higher than the basal level by treatment with 13 microM benz[a]anthracene for 24 h. Metabolic activation of benzo[a]pyrene, dimethylnitrosamine and aflatoxin B1 by huH-1 cells was observed by cell-mediated sister-chromatid exchange assay. Sister-chromatid exchanges in human diploid fibroblasts were observed in the cultures mixed with or without huH-1 cells. All 3 chemicals induced sister-chromatid exchanges in human fibroblasts far more efficiently in the cultures mixed with huH-1 cells than in those without huH-1 cells. Some characteristics of huH-1 cells as a human cell-mediated metabolic activation system for carcinogens are discussed.

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