Authors: Sarangapani, Ramesh1; Teeguarden, Justin G.1; Cruzan, George2; Clewell, Harvey J.3; Andersen, Melvin E.4

Source: Inhalation Toxicology, Volume 14, Number 8, 15 August 2002 , pp. 789-834(46)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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Styrene (ST) is widely used to manufacture resins, glass-reinforced plastics, and a number of commercially important polymers (Miller et al., 1994). Chronic ST inhalation studies in rodents have demonstrated unique species specificity in the resulting pulmonary toxicity and carcinogenicity. Increased incidences of pulmonary bronchioloalveolar tumors have been observed in mice, but not in rats. No other tumor type was increased significantly in either species. Clara cells lining the respiratory epithelium metabolize ST to styrene 7,8-oxide (SO), which is cytotoxic and weakly genotoxic. Rodent species show marked differences in the distribution and regional density of Clara cells within the respiratory tract, as well as in their capacity to produce and eliminate SO. A mode of action-based physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model was developed to predict the concentration of ST and SO in blood, liver, and the respiratory-tract tissues, particularly in terminal bronchioles (target tisue), in order to conduct interspecies extrapolations and determine the extent to which there is a pharmacokinetic basis for the observed species specificity. This PBPK model has a multicompartment description of the respiratory tract and incorporates species-specific quantitative information on respiratory-tract physiology, cellular composition, and metabolic capacity. The model is validated against multiple data sets, including blood, liver, and whole lung tissue concentration of ST and SO following multiple routes of exposure. The trend in neoplastic incidences in mice correlated well with model-estimated SO concentration in the terminal bronchioles. The PBPK model predicts a 10-fold lower SO concentration in the terminal bronchioles in rats compared to mice, which is consistent with the observed species sensitivity to the development of respiratory-tract neoplasms. The model-based analysis suggests that humans would be expected to be 100-fold less sensitive to ST-inducted lung tumors than mice, based on pharmacokinetic differences. Pharmacodynamic factors are also expected to contribute to species sensitivity, potentially augmenting pharmacokinetics-based differences.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The K. S. Crump Group, Inc., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA 2: ToxWorks, Bridgeton, New Jersey, USA 3: ENVIRON International Corporation, Ruston, Louisiana, USA 4: Department of Environmental Health, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colorado, USA

Publication date: August 15, 2002

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