Studies on the Metabolism and Biological Effects of Nitropyrene and Related Nitro-polycyclic Aromatic Compounds in Diploid Human Fibroblasts

This report describes a study by Dr. Maher and colleagues to investigate the biological effects of nitropyrene compounds, found in diesel emission particulate, on diploid human fibroblasts in culture in order to better evaluate potential health effects. Diploid human fibroblasts from normal individuals and individuals with a genetic predisposition to cancer were studied and compared through a series of experiments. These experiments examined whether cells may metabolize nitropyrenes into a DNA-binding derivative capable of killing cells, which cell culture conditions alter the metabolic process, the comparative sensitivity of the cells lines studied to the toxic effects of nitropyrenes, and the potential for nitropyrene-stimulated DNA adducts to induce mutations affecting the cell growth patterns of fibroblasts.