MDPI, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(22), p. 8062, 2021
The environmental pollutant benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a human carcinogen that reacts with DNA after metabolic activation catalysed by cytochromes P450 (CYP) 1A1 and 1B1 together with microsomal epoxide hydrolase. The azo dye Sudan I is a potent inducer of CYP1A1/2. Here, Wistar rats were either treated with single doses of BaP (150 mg/kg bw) or Sudan I (50 mg/kg bw) alone or with both compounds in combination to explore BaP-derived DNA adduct formation in vivo. Using 32P-postlabelling, DNA adducts generated by BaP-7,8-dihydrodiol-9,10-epoxide were found in livers of rats treated with BaP alone or co-exposed to Sudan I. During co-exposure to Sudan I prior to BaP treatment, BaP-DNA adduct levels increased 2.1-fold in comparison to BaP treatment alone. Similarly, hepatic microsomes isolated from rats exposed to Sudan I prior to BaP treatment were also the most effective in generating DNA adducts in vitro with the activated metabolites BaP-7,8-dihydrodiol or BaP-9-ol as intermediates. DNA adduct formation correlated with changes in the expression and/or enzyme activities of CYP1A1, 1A2 and 1B1 in hepatic microsomes. Thus, BaP genotoxicity in rats in vivo appears to be related to the enhanced expression and/or activity of hepatic CYP1A1/2 and 1B1 caused by exposure of rats to the studied compounds. Our results indicate that the industrially employed azo dye Sudan I potentiates the genotoxicity of the human carcinogen BaP, and exposure to both substances at the same time seems to be hazardous to humans.