Inhibition of 2-nitropropane-induced rat liver DNA and RNA damage by benzyl selenocyanate

Emerich S. Fiala, Ock Soon Sohn, Hongshan Li, Karam El-Bayoumy, Rama S. Sodum

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23 Scopus citations


We observed that pretreatment of male F344 rats with benzyl selenocyanate, a versatile organoselenium chemopreventive agent in several animal model systems, decreases the levels of DNA and RNA modifications produced in the liver by the hepatocarcinogen 2-nitropropane. To clarify the mechanisms involved, we pretreated male F344 rats with either benzyl selenocyanate, its sulfur analog benzyl thiocyanate, phenobarbital or cobalt protoporphyrin IX; the latter is a depletor of P450. We then determined (1) the ability of liver microsomes to denitrify 2-nitropropane, (2) effects on 2-nitropropane-induced liver DNA and RNA modifications and (3) amount of nitrate excreted in rat urine following administration of the carcinogen. Pretreatment with benzyl selenocyanate or phenobarbital increased the denitrification activity of liver microsomes by 217 and 765%, respectively, increased liver P4502B1 by 31- and 435-fold, respectively, decreased the levels of 2-nitropropane-induced modifications in liver DNA (29-70% and 17-30%, respectively) and RNA (67-85% and 30-50%, respectively), and increased the 24-h urinary excretion of nitrate by 157 and 209%, respectively. Pretreatment with benzyl thiocyanate had no significant effect on any of these parameters. Pretreatment with cobalt protoporphyrin IX decreased liver p4502B1 by 87%, decreased the denitrification activity of liver microsomes by 76%, decreased the 24 h urinary excretion of nitrate by 88.5%, but increased the extent of 2-nitropropane-induced liver nucleic acid modifications by 17-67%. These results indicate that the metabolic sequence from 2-nitropropane to the reactive species causing DNA and RNA modifications does not involve the removal of the nitro group. Moreover, they suggest that benzyl selenocyanate inhibits 2-NP-induced liver nucleic acid modifications in part by increasing its detoxication through induction of denitrification, although it is evident that other mechanisms must also be involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1809-1815
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research


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