Author(s): Mller L, Mller L
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Abstract During incomplete combustion of organic matter, nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs), are formed in a reaction that is catalyzed by a low pH. 2-Nitrofluorene (NF), a marker for nitro-PAHs, is metabolized in vivo by two different routes. After inhalation, potent mutagenic metabolites, hydroxylated nitrofluorenes (OH-NFs), are formed. The metabolites are distributed by systemic circulation. After oral administration, NF is reduced to the corresponding amine, a reaction mediated by the intestinal microflora. This metabolite is acetylated to 2-acetylaminofluorene (AAF), a potent carcinogen. Further ring-hydroxylation of AAF leads to detoxification and excretion. Induction of cytochrome P450s affects the metabolism, and more OH-NFs are formed. As a consequence, more mutagenic metabolites are found in the circulation. OH-NFs are excreted in the bile as, in terms of mutagenicity, totally harmless glucuronide conjugates. When these conjugates are excreted via the bile, intestinal beta-glucuronidase can liberate direct-acting mutagens in the intestine. Thus, inhalation of NF can lead to formation of potent mutagens in the intestine. NF is a direct-acting mutagen in bacterial assays and an initiator and promoter of the carcinogenic process, and gives rise to DNA adduct formation in laboratory animals.
This article was published in Environ Health Perspect
and referenced in Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology