Modulation of benzo[a]pyrene-induced covalent dna modifications in adult and fetal mouse tissues by gestation stage

Lee Jane W. Lu, Mian Ying Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In these studies, we investigated the influence of gestation age on the induction of covalent DNA modifications by benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). Timed-pregnant ICR mice were given a single treatment of B[a]P (80 mg/kg, p.o.) on different days of gestation, killed 24 h later and analyzed for the presence of B[a]P-induced DNA adducts using the P1 nuclease version of the 32P-postlabeling method. Our results showed that B[a]P bound to embryonic, placental, fetal and maternal DNA throughout gestation with gestation-stage dependency. Overall, B[a]P bound less to maternal DNA during organogenesis and placentation compared to other stages of gestation and to the non-pregnant stage. The ontogenesis of B[a]P-induced DNA adducts in fetal tissues exhibited organ specificity that had two different types of profiles. With advancing gestation age, one type (lung, carcass and placenta) exhibited a steady linear increase, and the other type [gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and skin] a biphasic increase. In the fetal and maternal organs, adduct levels peaked 2 days before parturition. Over the course of gestation, fetal adduct levels were 70-100% of adult levels in the skin, 7-12% in the GIT, 25-40% in the liver and 15-80% in the lung. The adduct levels in many fetal organs exhibited little relationship to placental adduct leveLs throughout gestation. Collectively, our results indicate that: (i) transplacental DNA damage induced by B[a]P is determined mainly by fetal competence in metabolic activation and/or detoxification of B[a]P; and (ii) events occurring during placentation and organogenesis inhibit B[a]P binding to maternal tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1367-1372
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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