Absence of formation of benzo[a]pyrene/DNA adducts in the cuttlefish (sepia officinalis, mollusca: Cephalopoda)

Phillip G. Lee, Lee‐Jane W. Lu, James J. Salazar, Viktor Holoubek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) injected intramuscularly into the base of the arms of cuttlefish was released continuously from the injection site and removed from the organism. Only a portion of the compound accumulated in the body. Twenty‐four hr after its injection, 75% of B[a]P applied in olive oil was removed from the cuttlefish, and 1.2% was found in the body outside the head, the site of injection. If the carcinogen was dissolved in dimethylformamide, the removal of B[a]P was slower, so that only 18% of the injected B[a]P was removed from the organism and 0.36% accumulated in the body outside the head 24 hr after injection. The high level of B[a]P in gills and hemolymph 4 hr after injection and the kinetics of the decrease of its concentration with time indicate that these two organs could be involved in the excretion of B[a]P from the body. The B[a]P/DNA adducts characteristic for vertebrates could not be demonstrated in gills, skin, brain, hepatopancreas, and lymphocytes of the cuttlefish 24 hr after injection of B[a]P. The dose of the carcinogen injected into the cuttlefish was 2—4 times higher than the dose resulting in the formation of a high level of B[a]P/DNA adducts in the vertebrates. A different metabolism of B[a]P in the tissue of cephalopods, compared to vertebrates, could be less favorable to the process leading to malignant transformation and could explain the absence from the literature of reports of tumors in cephalopods. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-73
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


  • P‐postlabeling assay
  • benzo[a]pyrene distribution
  • chemical carcinogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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