Journal Article

Transplacental benzene exposure increases tumor incidence in mouse offspring: possible role of fetal benzene metabolism

Helen J. Badham, David P. LeBrun, Allison Rutter and Louise M. Winn

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 31, issue 6, pages 1142-1148
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgq074
Transplacental benzene exposure increases tumor incidence in mouse offspring: possible role of fetal benzene metabolism

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Childhood cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in children aged 1–14 years in Canada and the USA and it has been hypothesized that transplacental exposure to environmental carcinogens such as benzene may contribute to the etiology of these cancers. Our objectives were to determine if transplacental benzene exposure increased tumor incidence in mouse offspring and assess fetal benzene metabolism capability. Pregnant CD-1 and C57Bl/6N mice were given intraperitoneal injections of corn oil, 200 mg/kg, or 400 mg/kg benzene on gestational days 8, 10, 12 and 14. A significant increase in tumor incidence was observed in CD-1, but not C57BL/6N, 1-year-old offspring exposed transplacentally to 200 mg/kg benzene. Hepatic and hematopoietic tumors were predominantly observed in male and female CD-1 offspring, respectively. Female CD-1 offspring exposed transplacentally to 200 mg/kg benzene had significantly suppressed bone marrow CD11b+ cells 1 year after birth, correlating with reduced colony-forming unit granulocyte/macrophage numbers in 2-day-old pups. CD-1 and C57Bl/6N maternal blood benzene levels and fetal liver benzene, t, t-muconic acid, hydroquinone and catechol levels were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Significant strain-, gender- and dose-related differences were observed. Male CD-1 fetuses had high hydroquinone levels, whereas females had high catechol levels after maternal exposure to 200 mg/kg benzene. This is the first demonstration that transplacental benzene exposure can induce hepatic and hematopoietic tumors in mice, which may be dependent on fetal benzene metabolism capability.

Journal Article.  6061 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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