A physiological model for simulation of benzene metabolism by rats and mice

Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
M A MedinskyR F Henderson

Abstract

Studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program on the chronic toxicity of benzene indicated that B6C3F1 mice are more sensitive to the toxic effects of benzene than are F344 rats. A physiological model was developed to describe the uptake and metabolism of benzene in rats and mice and to determine if the observed differences in toxic effects could be explained by differences in the pathways for metabolism of benzene or by differences in uptake of benzene. Major pathways for elimination of benzene included metabolism to hydroquinone glucuronide or hydroquinone sulfate, phenyl glucuronide or phenyl sulfate, muconic acid, and prephenyl mercapturic acid or phenyl mercapturic acid. Model simulations for total benzene metabolized and for profiles of benzene metabolites were conducted for oral or inhalation exposure and compared to data for urinary excretion of benzene metabolites after exposure of rats and mice to [14C]- or [3H]-benzene by inhalation or gavage. Results for total amount of benzene metabolized, expressed per kilogram body weight, indicated that for inhalation exposure concentrations up to 1000 ppm, mice metabolized at least two to three times as much benzene as did rats. Simulations of oral exposure to benzene re...Continue Reading

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