The Effect of Benzene and its Methyl Derivatives on the MFO System

  • Gy. Ungváry
  • Sz. Szeberényi
  • E. Tátrai
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Many industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives and other environmental chemical compounds are known to cause liver enlargement, proliferation of smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) in hepatocytes and to induce the hepatic microsomal enzyme system. The degree of the enlargement of the liver and of the proliferation of SER in hepatocytes, as well as that of enzyme induction of the hepatic microsomal system, depend on several factors (quantity of the compounds, chemical structure of the substances, species, age, sex of animals, etc.). Short-term exposure to the methyl derivatives of benzene (toluene, ortho-xylene) results in adaptive changes in the liver to their toxic effects such as an increase of the relative liver weight, proliferation of SER of hepatocytes, increased concentration of cytochrome P-450 and b-5, and increased activity of the MFO system (Ungváry et al. 1976, 1980). In this study we compared the effects of benzene and its methyl derivatives on hepatic enzyme induction during the initial phase of poisoning, to see if there was a correlation between the type of enzyme induction response and the number and steric orientation of methyl groups.


Methyl Derivative EQUIMOLAR Dose Relative Liver Weight Liver Enlargement Hepatic Enzyme Induction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chhabra RS, Gram TE, Fouts JR (1972) A comparative study of two procedures used in the determination of hepatic microsomal aniline hydroxylation. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 22: 50–58PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cinti DL, Moldéus P, Schenkman JB (1972) Kinetic parameters of drug-metabolizing enzymes in Ca2+-sedimented microsomes from rat liver. Biochem Pharmacol 21: 3249–3256PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Decken A von der, Hultin T (1960) Inductive effect of 3-methylcholantrene on enzyme activities and amino acid incorporation capacity of rat liver microsomes. Arch Biochem Biophys 90: 201–207PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fitzhugh OG, Nelson AA, Frawley JP (1950) The chronic toxicities of technical benzene hexachloride and its alpha, beta and gamma isomers. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 100: 59–69PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Gourlay GK, Stock BH (1978) Pyridine nucleotide involvement in rat hepatic microsomal drug metabolism. Biochem Pharmacol 27: 965–968PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gut I (1976) Effect of phénobarbital pretreatment on in vitro enzyme kinetics and in vivo biotransformation of benzene in the rat. Arch Toxicol 35: 195–206PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ikeda M, Ohtsuji H, Imamura T (1972) In vivo suppression of benzene and styrene oxidation by coadministered toluene in rats and effects of phénobarbital. Xenobiotica 2: 101–106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Karnovsky MJ (1965) A formaldehyde-glutaraldehyde fixative of high osmolality for use in electron microscopy. J Cell Biol 27: 137AGoogle Scholar
  9. Lowry OH, Rosenbrough NJ, Farr AL, Randall RJ (1951) Protein measurement with the folin phenol reagent. J Biol Chem 193: 265–275PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Nachlas MM, Tsou K, Souza E, Chang C, Seligman AM (1957) Cytochemical demonstration of succinic dehydrogenase by use of a new p-nitrophenyl substitute ditetrazole. J Histochem Cytochem 5: 420–436PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Omura T, Sato R (1965) The carbon-monoxide binding pigment of liver microsomes. J Biol Chem 239: 1867–1873Google Scholar
  12. Owen NV, Griffing WJ, Hoffman DG, Gibson WR, Anderson RC (1971) Effects of dietary administration of 5-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)5-ethylbarbituric acid (dichlorophenobarbital) to rats. Emphasis on hepatic drug-metabolizing enzymes and morphology. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 18: 720–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Raw I, Mahler HB (1959) Electron transport enzymes III. Cytochrome b5 of pig liver mitochondria. J Biol Chem 234: 1867–1873PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Reynolds ES (1963) The use of lead citrate at high pH as an electron-opaque stain in electron microscopy. J Cell Biol 17: 208–213PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Stäubli W, Hess R, Weibel E (1969) Correlated morphometric and biochemical studies on the liver cell, II. Effects of phénobarbital on rat hepatocytes. J Cell Biol 42: 92–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ungváry Gy, Hudák A, Bors Zs, Folly G (1976) The effect of toluene on the liver assayed by quantitative morphological methods. Exp Mol Pathol 25: 49–59PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ungváry Gy, Cseh IR, Mányai S, Molnar A, Szeberényi Sz, Tátrai E (1980) Enzyme induction o-xylene inhalation. Acta Med Acad Sci Hung 37: 115–120PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Walker AI, Stevenson DE, Robinson J, Thorpe E, Roberts M (1969) The toxicology and pharmacodynamics of dieldrin (HEOD): two-year oral exposures of rats and dogs. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 15: 345–373PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Williams CH, Kamin H (1962) Microsomal triphosphopyridine nucleotide-cytochrome c reductase of liver. J Biol Chem 237: 587–595PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gy. Ungváry
  • Sz. Szeberényi
  • E. Tátrai
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Occupational HealthBudapestHungary

Personalised recommendations