Male and female CD-1 mice received single oral doses of benzene (220, 440, and 880 mg/kg) and were pretreated with modifiers of the mixed-function oxidase enzyme activities. Urinary metabolites (MT) (0-24 and 24-48 hr) were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The micronucleus test was performed at 30 h. The following pretreatments were used to correlate micronucleus formation and the excreted benzene MT: 3-Methylcholanthrene and β-naphthoflavone led to a marked increase in micronuclei (MN) and MT, whereas phenobarbital caused a slight increase, and SKF-525A had no effect. MN and MT were decreased when benzene was administered by the ip route or toluene was given simultaneously. Females had a lower number of MN and excreted more unconjugated phenol than did males. Muconic acid, hydroquinone, and phenol glucuronide and MN correlated well. They were dependent on both the dose and route of administration of benzene, being most inducible by P-448 inducers, in males more than females. The administration of hydroquinone induced MN, but phenol or catechol (200, 250, and 150 mg/kg, po, respectively) did not, and none of these compounds yielded trans,trans-muconic acid, a benzene MT in urine. This study establishes that benzene myeloclastogenicity is a function of its metabolism and that quantification of urinary metabolites could provide reliable correlates of this effect in vivo.
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