Cyclopenteno[CD]pyrene (CPEP) is a widespread environmental pollutant. This hydrocarbon and its 3,4-dihydro derivative, cyclopentano(CD)pyrene (CPAP), were tested on skin in a two-stage initiation-promotion experiment in CD-1 mice and by repeated application in Swiss mice. The biological effect of CPEP and CPAP was compared to that of benzo[a]-pyrene (BP). Nine-week-old female CD-1 mice in groups of 30 were treated every other day over a 20-day period at mini-dose levels of 0.18, 0.06 and 0.02 μmol of CPEP or CPAP in acetone. One group was treated with BP at the low mini-dose level. Initiation was followed by twice weekly application of tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate for 40 weeks. In the second experiment, nine-week-old female Swiss mice in groups of 30 were treated at dose levels of 1.8, 0.6 and 0.2 μmol CPEP or CPAP in acetone twice weekly for 30 weeks. One group was treated with BP at the low dose. CPAP was virtually inactive in both studies. In the initiation-promotion experiment CPEP was inactive at the low dose level, whereas BP exhibited significant tumorigenicity. At the medium and high doses CPEP showed weak, but statistically insignificant, tumorigenic activity. Repeated application of CPEP at the high, medium and low doses resulted in tumor incidences of 23, 37 and 57%, respectively. This reverse dose-response may be due to the relatively high cytotoxicity of CPEP. BP, which was compared to CPEP at the low dose, elicited tumors in 100% of the mice. Most of the CPEP-induced neoplasms were malignant and some metastasized to lungs and lymph nodes. The inactivity of CPAP suggests the carcinogenicity of CPEP is probably due to formation of the ultimate metabolite CPEP 3,4-oxide. In view of the abundance of CPEP in environmental and occupational pollutants, its moderately potent carcinogenicity may represent a potential health hazard.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research