Tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNA) are the most abundant, strong carcinogens in tobacco smoke. Seven TSNA have been identified in tobacco products: N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), N'-nitrosoanabasine (NAB), N'-nitrosoanatabine (NAT), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-4-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (iso-NNAL), and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-4-3-pyridyl)butyric acid (iso-NNAC). The syntheses of these compounds are reviewed. The syntheses of 14C- and 3H-labeled NNK as well as metabolites of NNK and NNN are also discussed. Comparative assays for lung tumorigenesis in female A/J mice were carried out for six of the TSNA and for two related compounds, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR). They yielded the following ranking of potency: NDMA>NNK>NNAL> NPYR>NNN>NAB. Iso-NNAL and iso-NNAC were inactive. These results are also compared with previous assays of TSNA carcinogenicity in rats and hamsters.
- Metabolic activation
- Oral cavity
- Tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines