Toxicology and applied pharmacology

Metabolism of UV-filter benzophenone-3 by rat and human liver microsomes and its effect on endocrine-disrupting activity.

PMID 25528284


Benzophenone-3 (2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone; BP-3) is widely used as sunscreen for protection of human skin and hair from damage by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In this study, we examined the metabolism of BP-3 by rat and human liver microsomes, and the estrogenic and anti-androgenic activities of the metabolites. When BP-3 was incubated with rat liver microsomes in the presence of NADPH, 2,4,5-trihydroxybenzophenone (2,4,5-triOH BP) and 3-hydroxylated BP-3 (3-OH BP-3) were newly identified as metabolites, together with previously detected metabolites 5-hydroxylated BP-3 (5-OH BP-3), a 4-desmethylated metabolite (2,4-diOH BP) and 2,3,4-trihydroxybenzophenone (2,3,4-triOH BP). In studies with recombinant rat cytochrome P450, 3-OH BP-3 and 2,4,5-triOH BP were mainly formed by CYP1A1. BP-3 was also metabolized by human liver microsomes and CYP isoforms. In estrogen reporter (ER) assays using estrogen-responsive CHO cells, 2,4-diOH BP exhibited stronger estrogenic activity, 2,3,4-triOH BP exhibited similar activity, and 5-OH BP-3, 2,4,5-triOH BP and 3-OH BP-3 showed lower activity as compared to BP-3. Structural requirements for activity were investigated in a series of 14 BP-3 derivatives. When BP-3 was incubated with liver microsomes from untreated rats or phenobarbital-, 3-methylcholanthrene-, or acetone-treated rats in the presence of NADPH, estrogenic activity was increased. However, liver microsomes from dexamethasone-treated rats showed decreased estrogenic activity due to formation of inactive 5-OH BP-3 and reduced formation of active 2,4-diOH BP. Anti-androgenic activity of BP-3 was decreased after incubation with liver microsomes.