Lipid peroxidation (LPO) products are known to interact with DNA, yielding several types of adduct with nucleobases. In this study, we demonstrate the formation of two ethenobase adducts, 1,N6-ethenoadenine and 3,N4-ethenocytosine, by reaction of LPO products with nucleic acid bases. Rat liver microsomes were incubated at 37 degrees C for 30 min in the presence of inducers of LPO [Fe(II) or cumene hydroperoxide] and adenine or cytosine nucleotides or nucleosides, followed by further heating at 80 degrees C for 30 min to complete the reactions. The etheno adducts detected after immunoaffinity chromatography were 1,N6-etheno-cAMP and 1,N6-etheno-2'-deoxyadenosine (HPLC/fluorimetry), 3,N4-etheno-2'-deoxycytidine (competitive radioimmunoassay), and 1,N6-etheno-2'-deoxyadenosine 3'-monophosphate and 3,N4-etheno-2'-deoxycytidine 3'-monophosphate (32P-postlabeling). Incubation of arachidonic acid supplemented with Fe(II) also led to the formation of the 1,N6-etheno adduct from cAMP. LPO intermediates that may be involved are discussed. These data suggest that etheno adducts may be markers of DNA damage associated with LPO.