Tetrahydroxylated-benzo[a]pyrene isomer analysis after hydrolysis of DNA-adducts isolated from rat and human white blood cells.
- Human Biomonitoring Research Unit
Since exposure to benzo[a]pyrene is suspected to be associated with several health issues, significant efforts have been made to develop efficient strategies for the assessment of human exposure to this ubiquitous compound. In this context, a method was developed for the analysis of four tetrahydroxylated-benzo[a]pyrene isomers resulting from the hydrolysis of their respective diol-epoxide precursors which are involved in DNA-adduct formation. The analytical sensitivity necessary to reach environmental levels of concentration was obtained by using gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The recovery determined at the four concentration levels were estimated in average at 83% for benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,t-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol(+/-), 29% for benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,t-9,t-10-tetrahydrotetrol(+/-), and 82% for benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,C-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol(+/-). The coefficient of determination of the calibration curve was above 0.997 for all the analytes investigated and the limit of quantification ranged from 0.5 to 2 adduct/10(8) nucleotides. The precision was between 5.3% and 22.3%. The suitability of the method was firstly evaluated by the analysis of DNA isolated from white blood cells of rats submitted after controlled exposure to benzo[a]pyrene. The four targeted tetra-OH-benzo[a]pyrenes as well as two unknown isomers were detected in all the treated animals. Benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,c-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol(+/-) appeared as the most abundant isomer in both treated and control animals followed by benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,t-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol(+/-). The method was afterwards applied to the analysis of DNA isolated from white blood cells of human volunteers. The results confirmed that this method was sufficiently sensitive to monitor environmental levels of exposure since all the specimens analyzed were above the limit of quantification for benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,t-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol(+/-) and two of them were positive for benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,c-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol(+/-), thereby highlighting interspecies differences in the nature of the tetrahydroxylated-benzo[a]pyrene isomers formed. This study confirms the necessity to focus on all the tetrahydroxylated-benzo[a]pyrene isomers, which could be indicators of benzo[a]pyrene-associated toxicity related to an individual's own metabolism, rather than limit to a single form.