The Metabolism of [14C] Phenol by Native Australian Rodents and Marsupials
R. V. Baudinette, J. F Wheldrake, S. Hewitt and Denise Hawke
School of Biological Sciences, The Flinders University of South Australia, Bedford Park, S.A. 5042.
The metabolic fate of injected phenol was investigated in 9 marsupial and 12 eutherian species. The animals covered a wide range of dietary groups and came from habitats varying from deserts to swamps. Four metabolites were identified; phenyl glucuronide, phenyl sulphate, quinol glucuronide and quinol sulphate. The proportion of these compounds varied with dose, but a general pattern is apparent. The ratios of sulphate to glucuronide conjugates suggest that carnivorous or insectivorous animals rely more on sulphuric acid for conjugation. Most herbivores and folivores show low levels of sulphate utilization, the brush-tailed possum and koala being extreme cases. There is no correlation of habitat or rate of water turnover with the metabolic profile for phenol, nor is there evidence that marsupials and eutherians differ in this regard.