Reactive oxygen species (ROS), possibly produced during the metabolic conversion of benzo(a)pyrene (B[a]P), could be involved in B[a]P-induced genotoxicity and, eventually, carcinogenicity. Therefore, ROS formation by rat lung and liver microsomes was studied in vitro by electron spin resonance (ESR/EPR) spectrometry. B[a]P-mediated generation of ROS was detected in incubations with rat lung, but not with liver microsomes. Inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP450) by the non isoform-specific inhibitor SKF-525A resulted in a complete inhibition of B[a]P-dependent ROS formation, whereas ROS formation was not affected by inhibition of prostaglandin H synthase by indomethacin. Subsequently, bulky DNA adduct formation and 8-oxo-dG levels after a single oral dose of B[a]P were examined in vivo in rat lung and liver, in combination with urinary excretion of 8-oxodG. B[a]P exposure resulted in increased urinary 8-oxo-dG levels. On the contrary, 8-oxo-dG levels decreased in liver and lung after B[a]P exposure. Bulky DNA adducts reached higher levels and were more persistent in rat lung than in liver. These results indicate that ROS are generated during the CYP450 dependent metabolism of B[a]P, particularly in the rat lung, but this does not necessarily result in increased levels of oxidative DNA damage in vivo, possibly by induction of DNA repair mechanisms.
Briedé, J. J., Godschalk, R. W., Emans, M. T., de Kok, T. M., van Agen, E., van Maanen, J. M. S., van Schooten, F. J., & Kleinjans, J. C. (2004). In vitro and in vivo studies on oxygen free radical and DNA adduct formation in rat lung and liver during benzo[a]pyrene metabolism. Free Radical Research, 38(9), 995-1002. https://doi.org/10.1080/10715760400000976