The carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) was injected intravenously (0.41 mmol/kg) into F344 rats. DNA from target organs (lung, liver) and a non-target organ (kidney) was extracted hydrolysed and analysed for methylated guanines by cation-exchange high-performance liquid chromotography-fluorimetry. Levels of O6-methylguanine, a promutagenic lesion, and 7-methylguanine were three to eight times higher in the liver than in the lung. Neither base could be detected in the kidneys. The extent of methylation of hepatic DNA by NNK was 35 times lower than observed with an equimolar dose of NDMA by Swann et al. (1983). The levels of the two methylated guanines in liver and lung DNA increased between 4 and 24 h following NNK injection. NNK is metabolized rapidly in F344 rats to 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1(3-pyridyl)-butan-1-ol (NNA1). The relatively slow methylation of hepatic DNA after injection of NNK could be due to a slow release of methylating species from the major circulating metabolite NNA1. This low but sustained level of O6-methylguanine induced by NNK could, in part, explain its carcinogenic potency.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||IARC scientific publications|
|State||Published - 1984|