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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Metabolism of pharmaceutical and personal care products by carrot cell cultures

  • Author(s): Wu, X
  • Fu, Q
  • Gan, J
  • et al.

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. With the increasing use of treated wastewater and biosolids in agriculture, residues of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in these reused resources may contaminate food produce via plant uptake, constituting a route for human exposure. Although various PPCPs have been reported to be taken up by plants in laboratories or under field conditions, at present little information is available on their metabolism in plants. In this study, we applied carrot cell cultures to investigate the plant metabolism of PPCPs. Five phase I metabolites of carbamazepine were identified and the potential metabolism pathways of carbamazepine were proposed. We also used the carrot cell cultures as a rapid screening tool to initially assess the metabolism potentials of 18 PPCPs. Eleven PPCPs, including acetaminophen, caffeine, meprobamate, primidone, atenolol, trimethoprim, DEET, carbamazepine, dilantin, diazepam, and triclocarban, were found to be recalcitrant to metabolism. The other 7 PPCPs, including triclosan, naproxen, diclofenac, ibuprofen, gemfibrozil, sulfamethoxazole, and atorvastatin, displayed rapid metabolism, with 0.4-47.3% remaining in the culture at the end of the experiment. Further investigation using glycosidase hydrolysis showed that 1.3-20.6% of initially spiked naproxen, diclofenac, ibuprofen, and gemfibrozil were transformed into glycoside conjugates. Results from this study showed that plant cell cultures may be a useful tool for initially exploring the potential metabolites of PPCPs in plants as well as for rapidly screening the metabolism potentials of a variety of PPCPs or other emerging contaminants, and therefore may be used for prioritizing compounds for further comprehensive evaluations.

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