Characterization of the H4IIE rat hepatoma cell bioassay for evaluation of environmental samples containing polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

K. L. Willett, P. R. Gardinali, J. L. Sericano, T. L. Wade, S. H. Safe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

The H4IIE rat hepatoma cell bioassay has been extensively used to assess the toxic equivalents (TEQs) of complex mixtures of halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons in environmental samples. However, there is often a discrepancy between bioassay induction results and toxic equivalents calculated from chemical analysis of samples; the former generally yield higher bioassay- TEQs. Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of chemicals which can significantly contribute to induction-TEQs. Benzo(a)pyrene (BAP), dibenz(a, h)anthracene (DBA), benz(a)anthracene (BA), benzo(k)fluoranthene (BkF), benzo(b)fluoranthene (BbF), chrysene (Chr), and indeno(1,2,3-c,d) pyrene (IdP) are carcinogenic PAHs found in environmental samples, including oysters collected from Galveston Bay. The induction potency of these PAHs relative to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) was determined individually in rat hepatoma H4IIE cells seeded in 6-well plates, and the induction-derived equivalency factors (EFs) relative to TCDD were 0.000354, 0.00203, 0.000025, 0.00478, 0.00253, 0.00020, 0.0011 for BAP, DBA, BA, BkF, BbF, Chr, and IdP, respectively. Dilutions of a reconstituted PAH mixture containing 23 PAHs (744 to 4466 ng/g total PAHs) with constant percentages of BAP (4.5%), DBA (3.5%), BA (2.4%), BkF (3.7%), BbF (3.5%), Chr (4.7%), and IdP (4.2%) yielded bioassay-derived induction-EQs that ranged from 0.52 to 1.44 ng/g. Oysters exposed in the laboratory to the same PAH mixture for 30 days differentially accumulated the PAHs with time. Bioassay-EQs for these oyster extracts ranged from 0.94 to 5.79 ng/g. These results were similar to the chemically calculated EQs which varied from 0.81 to 3.13 ng/g.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-448
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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