Vitamin K3 inhibits the conversion of benzo(a)pyrene to its more polar metabolites in an in vitro rat liver microsomal system. Vitamin K3 also inhibits benzo(a)pyrene metabolism in rat liver fragments and reduces its mutagenicity in the Ames test. Higher concentrations of vitamin K3 are required to comparably reduce benzo(a)pyrene metabolism when the microsomal system has been induced with 3-methylcholanthrene. High pressure liquid chromatography analysis of the products of benzo(a)pyrene metabolism shows a uniform reduction of all the metabolic products. When tumors were induced in ICR/Ha female mice by the intraperitoneal injection of benzo(a)pyrene, those mice given vitamin K3 before or both before and after benzo(a)pyrene had a slower rate of tumor appearance and tumor death rate as compared with those receiving benzo(a)pyrene alone. However, vitamin K1 increased the rate of tumor death while vitamin K deprivation and warfarin decreased the rate of tumor appearance and death in benzo(a)pyrene-injected mice. These studies indicate that vitamin K3 is an inhibitor of aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase and reduces the carcinogenic and mutagenic metabolites in vitro, and inhibits benzo(a)pyrene tumorigenesis in vivo. That vitamin K1 enhances the benzo(a)pyrene effect while warfarin and vitamin K deficiency inhibit benzo(a)pyrene tumorigenesis indicates that vitamin K1, vitamin K deprivation, or possibly blockade of its metabolic cycle also modulates benzo(a)pyrene metabolism in vivo but by a mechanism or at a site different from the vitamin K3 effect. The vitamin K series should be considered as capable of serving a regulatory function in the metabolism of benzo(a)pyrene and possibly other compounds metabolized through the mixed function oxidase system.
L G Israels, G A Walls, D J Ollmann, E Friesen, E D Israels