Tobacco-specific nitrosamine adducts: studies in laboratory animals and humans

Environmental Health Perspectives
S S HechtL A Peterson


This paper describes quantitation of human hemoglobin and DNA adducts of the carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN). NNK and NNN are believed to be involved in cancers of the lung, esophagus, oral cavity, and pancreas in people who use tobacco products. The adduct dosimetry method employs GC-MS for quantitation of 4-hydroxy-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (HPB) released by mild base hydrolysis of hemoglobin or acid hydrolysis of DNA as a biochemical marker of the pyridyloxobutylation metabolic activation pathway. Approximately 22% of smokers (n = 101) had elevated levels of HPB released from hemoglobin (range, 200-1600 fmole/g Hb). Adduct levels in snuff dippers ranged from 200-1800 fmole/g Hb. HPB levels in nonsmokers were generally below the detection limit. Acid hydrolysis of lung and tracheal DNA obtained at autopsy and analysis for released HPB revealed levels ranging up to 50 fmole/mg DNA in smokers; the adduct was not detected in nonsmokers. These findings are consistent with data generated in studies of adduct formation by NNK in rats. The biological significance of the HPB-releasing DNA pyridyloxobutylation pathway was compared to that of...Continue Reading


May 1, 1991·Chemical Research in Toxicology·P G FoilesS S Hecht
Nov 1, 1983·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·A CastonguayS S Hecht

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