Assessment of 9-OH- and 7,8-diol-benzo[a]pyrene in blood as potent markers of cognitive impairment related to benzo[a]pyrene exposure: An animal model study.
- Immune Endocrine and Epigenetics
- Experimental and Molecular Immunology
- Clinical and Applied Virology
The potent neurotoxicity of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) has been suggested to be a susceptibility factor accelerating the onset of brain tumours and the emergence of neurobehavioural disturbances. B[a]P has been shown to be neurotoxic, acting directly on both the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as indirectly via peripheral organs like liver and gut. By using a realistic B[a]P exposure scenario (0.02–200 mg/kg/day, 10 days) in mice, we elucidated brain-specific B[a]P metabolism and at identified hydroxylated B[a]P metabolites in serum which could be used as markers of cognitive impairment. Repeated oral administration of B[a]P led to, at the doses of 20 and 200 mg/kg/day, significant overexpression of Cyp1a1/Cyp1b1 in 2 out of the 3 brain regions considered, thereby suggesting the ability of the brain to metabolize B[a]P itself. At the same doses, mice exhibited a reduction in anxiety in both the elevated plus maze and the hole board apparatus. Concomitantly, B[a]P triggered dose-dependent changes in Nmda subunit expression (Nr1 and Nr2a/Nr2b) in areas involved in cognition. We detected 9-OH-B[a]P and 7,8-diol-B[a]P in serum at the level for which cognitive impairment was observed. We suggest that these metabolites may, in the future be exploited as potent biomarkers of B[a]P-induced cognitive impairments.