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Cancer Lett. 1993 Jul 30;71(1-3):25-30.

A study of tobacco carcinogenesis. LI. Relative potencies of tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines as inducers of lung tumours in A/J mice.

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Naylor Dana Institute for Disease Prevention, American Health Foundation, Valhalla, New York 10595.


Tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNA) are formed from nicotine and the minor Nicotiana tabacum alkaloids during tobacco processing and tobacco smoking. The TSNA are the most abundant strong carcinogens in smokeless tobacco and in smoke. In this comparative study six TSNA and two major volatile N-nitrosamines of cigarette smoke are assayed for their relative tumorigenicities in strain A/J female mice and for their potential to induce lung tumors. N-nitrosodimethylamine was the most potent inducer of lung adenoma in the A/J mouse model followed in order of decreasing potencies by 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol, N-nitrosopyrrolidine, N'-nitrosonornicotine and N'-nitrosoanabasine. 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-4-(3-pyridyl)butyric acid were inactive. The relative tumorigenic activities of the tobacco-specific nitrosamines in strain A/J mice compare well with the available data for their relative tumorigenic activities in F344 rats and Syrian golden hamsters.

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