Sex differences in the toxicokinetics of inhaled solvent vaporsin humans 1.m-Xylene

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The aim of this study was to evaluate possible sex differences in the inhalation toxicokinetics of m-xylene vapor. Seventeen healthy volunteers (nine women and eight men) were exposed to m-xylene (200 mg/m3) and to clean air (control exposure) on different occasions during 2 h of light physical exercise (50 W). The chosen level corresponds to the occupational exposure limit (8-h time weighted average) in Sweden. m-Xylene was monitored up to 24 h after exposure in exhaled air, blood, saliva, and urine by headspace gas chromatography. m-Methylhippuric acid (a metabolite of m-xylene) was analyzed in urine by high-performance liquid chromatography. Body fat and lean body mass (LBM) were estimated from sex-specific equations using bioelectrical impedance, body weight, height, and age. Genotypes and/or phenotypes of cytochromes P450 2E1 and 1A1, glutathione transferases M1 and P1, and epoxide hydrolase were determined. The toxicokinetic profile in blood was analyzed using a two-compartment population model. The area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) of m-xylene in exhaled air postexposure was larger in women than in men. In addition, the excretion via exhaled air was significantly higher in women when correcting for body weight or LBM. In contrast, the men had a significantly higher volume of distribution, excretion of m-methylhippuric acid in urine, and AUC of m-xylene in urine. The toxicokinetic analyses revealed no differences between subjects of different metabolic genotypes or phenotypes. In conclusion, the study indicates small sex differences in the inhalation toxicokinetics of m-xylene, which can be explained by body build.

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