Propanil (3,4-dichloropropionanilide) is an arylamide herbicide that has been reported to be contaminated with the cytochrome P450 enzyme inducers 3,3′,4,4′-tetrachloroazobenzene (TCAB) and 3,3′,4,4′-tetrachloroazoxybenzene (TCAOB), which are structural analogs of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). We determined if treatment of rats with TCAB, TCAOB, propanil, 3,4-dichloroaniline, TCDD, or phenobarbital induced the hepatic microsomal metabolism of propanil and 3,4-dichloroaniline. Acylamidase-catalyzed hydrolysis of propanil to 3,4-dichloroaniline was not induced by any of the pretreatments; however, hydroxylation of propanil at the 2′-position was induced by TCDD, TCAB, TCAOB, propanil, and 3,4-dichloroaniline pretreatments. Ring-and N-hydroxylations of 3,4-dichloroaniline were induced by TCDD, TCAB, TCAOB, and 3,4-dichloroaniline pretreatments. Microsomal 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and 7-benzoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (BROD) activities and electrophoretic mobility of microsomal proteins suggested that cytochromes P450c and P450d were induced by TCAB and TCAOB pretreatment. EROD, BROD, and 7-pentoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase activities were slightly increased in microsomes from propanil- and 3,4-dichloroaniline-pretreated rats, which suggests that these compounds may be weak inducers of cytochrome P450 isozymes.
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