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Genetic toxicity of 1,3-butadiene and styrene

, : Genetic toxicity of 1,3-butadiene and styrene. Iarc Scientific Publications: 185-193

1,3-Butadiene and styrene (vinyl benzene) are indirect genotoxins, which require metabolic activation to an epoxide form in order to bind covalently to DNA. Styrene 7,8-oxide, the active metabolite of styrene, is a carcinogen in rodents and has been shown to be genotoxic in most in-vitro test systems and at various genetic endpoints. The few studies available on the genotoxicity of styrene 7,8-oxide in vivo have yielded negative or (in mice) weakly positive results. Styrene is not usually genotoxic in vitro in assays employing a microsomal preparation from rat liver for metabolic activation, but positive effects have been obtained when other sources of metabolic activation, such as human erythrocytes, were provided. In vivo, styrene has been found repeatedly to be weakly genotoxic in the assay for sister chromatid exchange, especially in mice. Cytogenetic damage (usually chromosomal aberrations) has been reported in many studies of workers, mainly from the reinforced plastics industry where ambient concentrations of styrene may be high (50-100 ppm), while most negative findings are associated with exposure to lower levels. Butadiene is metabolized to two reactive forms, 1,2-epoxy-3-butene and further to 1,2:3,4-diepoxybutane, both of which are genotoxic in various test systems in vitro. The lowest effective dose of the latter is 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of the respective monoepoxide. Butadiene itself has not been tested extensively for genotoxicity in vitro. A species-specific difference in the responses of mice and rats at various cytogenetic end-points is seen in vivo, the lowest effective concentrations in rats being clearly higher than those in mice.


PMID: 8070865

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