Archives of toxicology

Inhibition of prostaglandin-H-synthase by o-phenylphenol and its metabolites.

PMID 9851679


Chronic administration of o-phenylphenol (OPP) is known to induce urinary bladder tumours in the Fischer rat. The underlying toxic mechanism is poorly understood. Recently, arachidonic acid (ARA)-dependent, prostaglandin-H-synthase (PHS)-catalysed metabolic activation of the OPP metabolite phenylhydroquinone (PHQ) to a genotoxic species was suggested to be involved in OPP toxicity. To investigate this hypothesis in more detail, we have studied the effects of OPP and its metabolites on PHS. When microsomal PHS from ovine seminal vesicles (OSV) was used as enzyme source, both OPP, PHQ, and 2-phenyl-1,4-benzoquinone (PBQ) inhibited PHS-cyclooxygenase. The inhibitory potency was inversely related to the ARA concentration in the assay; at 7 microM ARA IC50-values were: 13 microM (OPP), 17 microM (PHQ), and 190 microM (PBQ). In cells cultured from OSV, which express high PHS activity, 40 microM OPP almost completely suppressed prostaglandin formation. Studies with microsomal PHS demonstrated that PHQ was an excellent substrate for PHS-peroxidase; both ARA and hydrogen peroxide supported oxidation to PBQ. OPP was only a poor substrate for PHS, but inhibited the ARA-mediated and to a lesser extent also the hydrogen peroxide-mediated in vitro oxidation of PHQ. Moreover, PHQ at up to moderately cytotoxic concentrations (50 microM) did not induce micronuclei in OSV cell cultures. Taken together, our findings do not provide evidence for an ARA-dependent, PHS-catalysed formation of genotoxic species from PHQ. Moreover, it seems to be questionable whether such activation can effectively occur in vivo, since OPP and PHQ turned out to be efficient cyclooxygenase inhibitors, and high levels of OPP and PHQ were found at least in the urine of OPP-treated rats. On the other hand, inhibition of the formation of cytoprotective prostaglandins in the urogenital tract may play a crucial role in OPP-induced bladder carcinogenesis.

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2-Phenylhydroquinone, 97%