Influence of metabolic genotype GSTM1 on levels of urinary mutagens in patients treated topically with coal tar

Mutat Res. 1999 Mar 15;440(1):27-33. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5718(99)00013-3.


Fifteen hospitalized, non-smoking, dermatological patients were treated with ointment containing 2% coal tar (CT) in order to assess the influence of metabolic genotype GSTM1 on urinary mutagen levels. Urinary 1-pyrenol, the main metabolite of pyrene, was used to check the high exposure to PAH of this population. The mean levels of urinary 1-pyrenol found in the 24-h urine of our patients were 467. 8+/-211.0 nmoles-24 h (range 94.6-890.1 nmoles-24 h). Mutagenicity was assessed on urine samples collected over a period of 24 h, after three consecutive days of topical application, using the bacterial mutagenesis test on Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98 and YG1024 in the presence of microsomal enzymes. The latter strain turned out to be more sensitive than the former in revealing urinary mutagens in these patients (42 693+/-30 867 vs. 6877+/-6040 net revertants-24 h). The mutagenicity on YG1024 strain and 1-pyrenol levels of urine samples were correlated (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient=0. 6678, P<0.01, z=2.795). The influence of genotype GSTM1 on urinary mutagen levels was assessed on strain YG1024. The values of urinary mutagenicity of subjects with genotype GSTM1-null (n=6) were on average higher than those of GSTM1-positive subjects (n=9) (55 498+/-45 957 vs. 34 156+/-11 933 net rev.-24 h), a non-significant statistical difference. The mean total excretion of mutagens corrected for PAH exposure (net rev./nmoles of urinary 1-pyrenol) in GSTM1-null patients was double that of GSTM1-positive ones (136. 8+/-34.7 vs. 70.8+/-23.3 net rev./nmoles of urinary 1-pyrenol; one-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test, U=11.5, P<0.05). These results indicate a greater body burden of promutagens, resulting from skin application of CT, in GSTM1-null subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Coal Tar / administration & dosage
  • Coal Tar / adverse effects
  • Coal Tar / metabolism*
  • DNA / analysis
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / chemistry
  • Microsomes, Liver
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Mutagens / analysis*
  • Ointments
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / adverse effects
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Pyrenes / analysis
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases / urine*


  • DNA Primers
  • Mutagens
  • Ointments
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Pyrenes
  • Coal Tar
  • DNA
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • 1-hydroxypyrene