Xenobiotic biotransformation in livestock: comparison to other species commonly used in toxicity testing.

J. B. Watkins, C. D. Klaassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


Wildlife, domesticated animals and humans are exposed daily to myriad chemicals present in our environment. The risk posed by these chemicals to one species is often determined by extrapolation from data gathered from another species. Several extensive studies have examined the capability of the liver to biotransform xenobiotics in animals commonly used in toxicity testing and in livestock. The present paper is a compilation of these data into a single source to permit comprehensive examination of inter-species variation in rates of hepatic biotransformation. Several substrates were studied for each enzyme system, including cytochrome P-450-dependent monooxygenases, epoxide hydrolases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, N-acetyltransferases, glutathione S-transferases and sulfotransferases. The numerous differences in substrate specificity for an individual enzymatic pathway reflect the apparent multiplicity of these enzymes in all 11 species studied. Several hundred- to several thousand-fold differences between species in enzymatic activities for certain substrates under well-defined conditions emphasize the need for caution and the risk of error in extrapolation of xenobiotic metabolism from one species to another. In spite of these uncertainties, knowledge of the rate of biotransformation may help us predict the fate of new chemicals in various species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-942
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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