Metabolic α-hydroxylation of n-nitrosomorpholine and 3,3,5,5-tetradeutero-n-nitrosomorpholine in the f344 rat1,2

Stephen S. Hecht, Ruth Young

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We studied the metabolism in the male F344 rat of N-nitrosomorpholine and of 3,3,5,5-tetradeutero-N-nitrosomorpholine; the latter is less carcinogenic and less mutagenic than is N-nitrosomorpholine. α-Hydroxylation (3- or 5-hydroxylation) of N-nitrosomorpholine by liver microsomes and a reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-generating system produced (2-hydroxyethoxy)acetaldehyde, which was identified as its 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazone derivative. When we administered N-nitrosomorpholine to rats i.p., we did not detect (2-hydroxyethoxy)acetaldehyde in the urine, but we did identify (2-hydroxyethoxy)acetic acid (16% of the dose). We also identified N-nitroso(2-hydroxyethyl)glycine (33% of the dose) from β-hydroxylation (2- or 6-hydroxylation), N-nitrosodiethanolamine (12%), and unchanged N-nitrosomorpholine (1.5%) in the urine. The deuterated analogs of the above metabolites were isolated from the urine of rats treated with 3,3,5,5-tetradeutero-N-nitrosomorpholine in yields as follows: (2-hydroxyethoxy)acetic acid (3.4%); N-nitroso(2-hydroxy-ethyDglycine (37%); N-nitrosodiethanolamine (12%); N-nitrosomorpholine (0.4%). These data demonstrate that deuterium substitution in the α-positions of N-nitrosomorpholine caused a decrease in the extent of α-hydroxylation and indicate that α-hydroxylation is the mechanism of activation of N-nitrosomorpholine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5039-5043
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
StatePublished - Dec 1 1981

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