Comparative in vitro and in vivo genotoxicities of 7h-benzo[c]fluorene, manufactured gas plant residue (MGP), and MGP fractions

Leslie Cizmas, Guo Dong Zhou, Stephen H. Safe, Thomas J. McDonald, Li Zhu, Kirby C. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Manufactured gas plant residue (MGP) is a complex mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that is tumorigenic in the lungs of mice. This study compared the relative genotoxicity of 7H-benzo[c]fluorene (BC), a PAH component of MGP, with MGP and MGP fractions in order to assess the contribution of BC to the genotoxicity of MGP. An MGP sample was separated into seven fractions (F1-F7) using silica gel column chromatography with petroleum ether (PE) followed by PE:acetone (99:1 v/v, then 98:2). PAHs were quantified using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. An aliquot of F2, the fraction with the highest BC concentration and highest weighted mutagenic activity in Salmonella typhimurium strain TA98, was further separated using silica gel thin-layer chromatography with hexane. The first F2 subfraction, sF2-a, was enriched in BC and coeluting compounds and contained 35,000 ppm BC and 216,109 ppm carcinogenic PAHs (cPAHs, the sum of seven PAHs categorized by the U.S. EPA as class B2 carcinogens). The second F2 subfraction, sF2-b, contained a ninefold lower concentration of BC, with 3,900 ppm BC and 45,21 ppm cPAHs. Female ICR mice received topical application of crude MGP, crude MGP spiked with analytical-grade BC, F2, sF2-a, sF2-b, or analytical-grade BC. DNA adduct levels were analyzed by nuclease P1-enhanced 32p-post-labeling. In lung DNA of mice receiving 0.48 or 3.0 mg/mouse, net total RAL x 109 values were F2, 30.8 and 87.2; sF2-a, 24.8 and 106.7; and sF2-b, 19.6 and 151.0, respectively. Mice dosed with 0. 10 mg analytical-grade BC (the mass of BC in 3.0 mg sF2-a) exhibited a net total RAL x 109 value of 7.03 in lung DNA. This was egual to approximately 7% of the total RAL x 109 value produced by 3.0 mg sF2-a. Thus, although BC appears to make an appreciable contribution to pulmonary adduct formation, the results suggest that MGP components other than BC play an important role in lung DNA adduct formation following topical MGP administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


  • Benzo[c]fluorene
  • Chemical mixture
  • Coal tar
  • DNA adduct
  • Manufactured gas plant residue
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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