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Sabbioni, Gabriele and Pugh, Shirley A. (2022): New Method to Biomonitor Workers Exposed to 1,6-Hexamethylene Diisocyanate. In: Chemical Research in Toxicology, Vol. 35, No. 12: pp. 2285-2295

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Abstract

Isocyanates such as 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI), 4,4 '-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate, and toluene diisocyanate are highly reactive compounds that have a variety of commercial applications, including manufacturing polyurethane foam, elastomers, paints, adhesives, coatings, insecticides, and many other products. Their primary route of occupational exposure is through inhalation. Due to their high chemical reactivity, they are toxic and have adverse effects at the cellular and subcellular levels, leading to irritative and immunological reactions associated with lung disease. High concentrations of isocyanates are strong respiratory irritants. Bronchial sensitization and asthma are among the major adverse clinical reactions associated with low-level chronic exposure to isocyanates. Albumin adducts have been linked to the mechanism of occupational asthma caused by isocyanates. Isocyanates react in vivo with albumin, which is recognized by the immune system. Albumin adducts of isocyanates trigger immune responses and are probably the antigenic basis for isocyanate asthma. Sensitization to isocyanates is the main pathway for adverse health effects. Therefore, markers for the biologically effective dose such as albumin adducts of HDI are needed. A new isocyanate adduct of HDI with lysine-N epsilon-[(6-amino-hexyl-amino)carbonyl]-lysine (HDI-Lys)-was synthesized and characterized by 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and mass spectrometry (MS). Appropriate internal standards-HDI-Lys-4,4 '-5,5 '-d4 (HDI-d4-Lys) and N epsilon-[(7-amino-heptyl-amino)carbonyl]-lysine (Hep-Lys)-were synthesized to establish a LC-MS/MS method for the analysis of HDI adducts in in vitro modified albumin and in workers. The presence of HDI-Lys was found after pronase digestion of albumin and confirmed by two independent chromatographic approaches: with a C8 reversed-phase column and with a hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography column. Quantification was performed with positive electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS. The adduct peak found in vivo was confirmed with the less sensitive negative ESI-MS. In summary, these are new compounds and methods to determine isocyanate-specific adducts with albumin in workers exposed to HDI.

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