Effects of Metals on Detoxification, Carcinogenicity, and Immunotoxicity of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

EPA Grant Number: R823919
Title: Effects of Metals on Detoxification, Carcinogenicity, and Immunotoxicity of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Investigators: Faisal, Mohamed , Van Veld, Peter A. , Roberts Jr., Morris H. , Vogelbein, Wolfgang K.
Institution: College of William and Mary-VA , Virginia Institute of Marine Science
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: July 1, 1995 through June 30, 1998
Project Amount: $449,794
RFA: Exploratory Research - Environmental Biology (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Biology/Life Sciences , Health , Ecosystems


The purpose of this project is to better understand the interactions between two potentially hazardous, common contaminants; the prototype polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), benzo(a)pyrene (BP), and the heavy metal, cadmium (Cd). This is particularly important since cadmium was found to alter the level and activity of several enzyme systems that catalyze the conversion of BP to its reactive metabolites, and the detoxification and excretion of these metabolites.

Experiments are designed to investigate the extent to which Cd, in environmentally realistic concentrations, is capable of altering: 1) the level and activity of some phase I and phase II enzymes involved in the breakdown and excretion of BP; 2) the BP metabolic profile (i.e., increases or decreases in the generation of carcinogenic/mutagenic metabolites); 3) immunocompetence; 4) the formation of stable BP-DNA adducts; 5) development of hepatic preneoplastic lesions; and 6) the development of liver cancers in the mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus).

The questions addressed in this proposal represent some of the major gaps in our understanding of the basic mechanisms of toxicity resulting from exposure to a mixture of organic and inorganic pollutants. Exploration of these aspects is necessary for the development of sound management strategies in contaminated water bodies.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Epidemiology, HAPS, chemical mixtures, Risk Assessments, Biology, mutagenic properties, benzopyrene, detoxification, liver cancer, hydrocarbon, particle exposure models, PAH, metabolic activation, immune systems, cadmium, cancer risk, cell kinetic models, hepatic preneoplastic lesions, heavy metals

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final