Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 43, Number 2, March-April 2003
Page(s) 145 - 154
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 43 (2003) 145-154
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2003014

Intestinal absorption of 14C from 14C-phenanthrene, 14C-benzo[a]pyrene and 14C-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin: approaches with the Caco-2 cell line and with portal absorption measurements in growing pigs

Séverine Cavret, Claire Laurent, Cyril Feidt, François Laurent and Guido Rychen

Laboratoire de Sciences Animales, INPL-UHP-INRA, École Nationale Supérieure d'Agronomie et des Industries Alimentaires, BP 172, 54505 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
(Received 17 July 2002; accepted 25 January 2003)

The aim of this work was to study the transfer through the intestinal barrier of two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (benzo[a]pyrene and phenanthrene) and a dioxin (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin) which differed in their physicochemical properties. Both in vitro and in vivo assays were performed. For the in vitro study, Caco-2 cells, cultivated on permeable filters, permitted to measure the transepithelial permeability of the studied 14C-labelled molecules. For the in vivo study, portal absorption kinetics were evaluated in pigs fed contamined milk. The results showed that all the molecules were absorbed and demonstrated a differential intestinal absorption for the studied molecules. Phenanthrene appeared to be the fastest and most uptaken compound, followed by benzo[a]pyrene and finally 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin. Their absorption levels were respectively 9.5, 5.2 and 1.4% after a 6 h-exposure in vitro and 86.1, 30.5 and 8.3% in vivo for the 24 h following ingestion. These findings suggest that the physicochemical properties of the xenobiotics and intestinal epithelium play key roles in the selective permeability and in the bioavailability of the tested micropollutants.

Key words: intestinal transfer / PAHs / dioxin / Caco-2 / portal absorption

Correspondence and reprints: Guido Rychen email:

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003