Acrylonitrile (ACN) produces tumors in rats, particularly gliomas of the brain, but tests for genotoxicity have yielded mixed results and no ACN-DNA adducts have been identified in the brain. To examine the possibility that ACN-related brain tumors were not a consequence of binding of ACN to brain DNA, experiments were conducted to investigate possible epigenetic mechanisms. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 0, 3, 30, and 300 ppm ACN in drinking water for 21 days, a range that includes doses associated with brain tumorigenesis. In the 30 and 300 ppm ACN groups, 8- oxodeoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) levels were two fold greater than in the controls. Measures of glutathione levels, glutathione peroxidase and catalase were not significantly changed, but cyst(e)ine was somewhat increased. No changes were found in brain cytochrome oxidase activity, which indicates a lack of metabolic hypoxia. Also, no effects on thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were found, indicating a lack of lipid peroxidation. In an additional experiment, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 0 or 100 ppm ACN in drinking water for 94 days; interim sacrifices were conducted at 3, 10, and 31 days. Levels of brain nuclear DNA 8-oxodG were significantly increased in ACN-exposed rats compared with controls. Another group of animals were given weekly i.v. injections of 5 mg/kg methylnitrosurea and no increases in 8-oxodG were found. These studies suggest the possibility that ACN-induced tumors may be produced by a mode of action involving 8-oxodG. The formation of 8-oxodG is not understood, but does not appear to involve lipid peroxidation or disruption of antioxidant defenses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis