Polychlorinated biphenyls pattern analysis: Potential nondestructive biomarker in vertebrates for exposure to cytochrome P450-inducing organochlorines



Biomarkers are valuable instruments to assess the risk from exposure of organisms to organochlorines. Ingeneral, however, these biomarkers are either destructive to the animal of interest or extremely difficult to obtain otherwise. In this paper, we present a nondestructive biomarker for exposure to cytochrome P450-inducing organochlorines. This marker is based on a pattern analysis of metabolizable and nonmetabolizable polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, which occur in several kinds of tissues (and even blood) that can be obtained without serious effects on the organism involved. The fraction of metabolizable PCB congeners is negatively correlated with exposure to PCBs, which are known to induce specific P450 isoenzymes. This relation can be modeled by a logistic curve, which can be used to define critical levels of exposure. In addition, this method creates an opportunity to analyze biomarker responses in archived tissues stored at standard freezing temperatures (−20°C), at which responses to established biomarkers deteriorate. Furthermore, this method facilitates attribution of the enzyme induction to certain classes of compounds.