Glucuronidation of benzo[a]pyrene in hamster embryo cells

Chem Biol Interact. 1978 Jul;22(1):1-14. doi: 10.1016/0009-2797(78)90145-x.


The formation of water-soluble metabolites of tritium-labeled benzo[a]pyrene (BP) by cultured hamster embryo cells was studied. The ratio of the radioactivity in the aqueous phase to that in the organic phase increased with the incubation period. After incubation for 48 h with 3.75 nmol/ml of [3H] BP in the medium more than 90% of the 3H-radioactivity was found in the aqueous phase, whereas with 10-fold more BP about half the radioactivity remained in the organic phase. The main metabolites extracted from the medium at 37.5 nmol/ml BP with ethyl acetate by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) were 9,10-diol and 7,8-diol; but after treatment of the medium with beta-glucuronidase the main oxygenated metabolites were phenols, the amount of 9-OH BP being more than that of 3-OH BP. beta-Glucuronidase also released 9,10-diol and 7,8-diol, but most of these diols were in the free form in the medium. The medium from cells treated with 3.75 nmol/ml BP has a quantitatively different profile, and most of the radioactivity obtained by extraction with organic solvent and digestion with beta-glucuronidase was eluted in the regions of phenols. These results show that in hamster embryo cells BP is mainly metabolised to conjugates of phenols with glucuronic acid.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzopyrenes / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cricetinae
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Glucuronates / metabolism
  • Hydroxylation
  • Mesocricetus
  • Time Factors


  • Benzopyrenes
  • Glucuronates