Metabolism of the tobacco specific nitrosamines, N'-nitrosonornicotine and 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone.

S. S. Hecht, C. B. Chen, R. Young, D. Lin, D. Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The metabolism, in the F-344 rat, of the tobacco-specific carcinogens, N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) was studied. NNN was hydroxylated at each position of the pyrrolidine ring; 2'-hydroxylation gave 4-hydroxy-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone in vitro and the corresponding acid in vivo, 3'-hydroxylation gave 3'-hydroxyNNN, 4'-hydroxylation gave 4'-hydroxy-NNN and 5'-hydroxylation gave 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl)butanal (in vitro) and 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid (in vivo). The principle ring hydroxylation in the untreated F-344 rat was 5'-hydroxylation. Pyridine N-oxidation was also observed, giving NNN-1-N-oxide as a major metabolite. The principle urinary metabolites of NNN were formed by 5'-hydroxylation and pyridine-N-oxidation. For NNK, a major process was reduction of the carbonyl to give 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol. alpha-Hydroxylation of both the N-methyl and N-methylene groups was also observed, as was formation of NNK-N-oxide in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-765
Number of pages11
JournalIARC scientific publications
Issue number31
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolism of the tobacco specific nitrosamines, N'-nitrosonornicotine and 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this