Journal Article

Urinary mutagenicity as a biomarker in workers exposed to benzidine: correlation with urinary metabolites and urothelial DNA adducts.

D M DeMarini, L R Brooks, V K Bhatnagar, R B Hayes, B T Eischen, M L Shelton, T V Zenser, G Talaska, S K Kashyap, M Dosemeci, R Kashyap, D J Parikh, V Lakshmi, F Hsu, B B Davis, M Jaeger and N Rothman

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 18, issue 5, pages 981-988
Published in print May 1997 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Urinary mutagenicity as a biomarker in workers exposed to benzidine: correlation with urinary metabolites and urothelial DNA adducts.

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Urinary mutagenicity has been used in occupational and epidemiological studies for over two decades as a cost-effective, general biomarker of exposure to genotoxic agents. However, few studies have compared urinary mutagenicity to additional biomarkers determined among low- and high-exposed groups. To address this issue, we evaluated the relationship between urinary mutagenicity and other types of biomarkers in a cross-sectional study involving 15 workers exposed to the urinary bladder carcinogen benzidine (BZ, high exposure), 15 workers exposed to BZ-dyes (low exposure), and 13 unexposed controls in Ahmedabad, India. Urinary organics were extracted by C18/methanol and evaluated for mutagenicity in the presence of S9 in the Salmonella strain YG1024, which is a frameshift strain that overproduces acetyltransferase. The results were compared to biomarker data reported recently from the same urine samples (Rothman et al., Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 93, 5084-5089, 1996) that included a metabolite biomarker (the sum of the urinary levels of BZ + N-acetylbenzidine + N,N'-diacetylbenzidine) and a DNA adduct biomarker [a presumptive N-(3'-phosphodeoxyguanosin-8-yl)-N'-acetylbenzidine (C8dG-ABZ) DNA adduct in exfoliated urothelial cells]. The mean +/- SE urinary mutagenicity (revertants/micromol of creatinine) of the low-exposure (BZ-dye) workers was 8.2 +/- 2.4, which was significantly different from the mean of the controls (2.8 +/- 0.7, P = 0.04) as was that of the mean of the high-exposure (BZ) workers (123.2 +/- 26.1, P < 0.0001). Urinary mutagenicity showed strong, positive correlations with urinary metabolites (r = 0.88, P < 0.0001) and the level of the presumptive C8dG-ABZ urothelial DNA adduct (r = 0.59, P = 0.0006). A strong association was found between tobacco use (bidi smoking) and urinary mutagenicity among the controls (r = 0.68, P = 0.01) but not among the exposed workers (r = 0.18, P = 0.11). This study confirms the ability of a biomarker such as urinary mutagenicity to detect low-dose exposures, identify additional genotoxic exposures among the controls, and correlate strongly with urinary metabolites and DNA adducts in the target tissue (urinary bladder epithelia) in humans.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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