Human interindividual variability in metabolism and risk: the example of 4-aminobiphenyl

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published



We investigate, through modeling, the impact of interindividual heterogeneity in the metabolism of 4-aminobiphenyl (ABP) and in physiological factors on human cancer risk: A physiological pharmacokinetic model was used to quantify the time course of the formation of the proximate carcinogen, N-hydroxy-4-ABP and the DNA-binding of the active species in the bladder. The metabolic and physiologic model parameters were randomly varied, via Monte Carlo simulations, to reproduce interindividual variability. The sampling means for most parameters were scaled from values developed by Kadlubar et al. (Cancer Res., 51: 4371, 1991) for dogs; variances were obtained primarily from published human data (e.g., measurements of ABP N-oxidation, and arylamine N-acetylation in human liver tissue). In 500 simulations, theoretically representing 500 humans, DNA-adduct levels in the bladder of the most susceptible individuals are ten thousand times higher than for the least susceptible, and the 5th and 95th percentiles differ by a factor of 160. DNA binding for the most susceptible individual (with low urine pH, low N-acetylation and high N-oxidation activities) is theoretically one million-fold higher than for the least susceptible (with high urine pH, high N-acetylation and low N-oxidation activities). The simulations also suggest that the four factors contributing most significantly to interindividual differences in DNA-binding of ABP in human bladder are urine pH, ABP N-oxidation, ABP N-acetylation and urination frequency.


Risk Analysis



Year of Publication






Short Title

Risk Anal.