Human biomonitoring of plasma and urinary levels of nicotine, cotinine, and 3′-hydroxycotinine was conducted after daily cigarette smoking in a population of 92 male Japanese smokers with a mean age of 37 years who had smoked an average of 23 cigarettes per
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Human biomonitoring of plasma and urinary levels of nicotine, cotinine, and 3′-hydroxycotinine was conducted after daily cigarette smoking in a population of 92 male Japanese smokers with a mean age of 37 years who had smoked an average of 23 cigarettes per day for 16 years. Members of the population were genotyped for the nicotine-metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6
). The mean levels of nicotine, the levels of its metabolites cotinine and 3′-hydroxycotinine, and the sum of these three levels in subjects one hour after smoking the first cigarette on the sampling day were 20.1, 158, 27.7, and 198 ng/mL in plasma and 846, 1,020, 1,010, and 2,870 ng/mL in urine under daily smoking conditions. Plasma levels of 3'-hydroxycotinine and urinary levels of nicotine and 3′-hydroxycotinine were dependent on the CYP2A6 phenotype group, which was estimated from the CYP2A6
genotypes of the subjects, including those with whole gene deletion. Plasma cotinine levels were significantly correlated with the number of cigarettes smoked on the day before sampling (r
= 0.71), the average number of cigarettes smoked daily (r
= 0.58), and the Brinkman index (daily cigarettes × years, r
= 0.48) under the present conditions. The sum of nicotine, cotinine, and 3′-hydroxycotinine concentrations in plasma showed a similar relationship to that of the plasma cotinine levels. Urinary concentrations of cotinine and the sum of nicotine metabolite concentrations also showed significant correlations with the plasma levels and the previous day’s and average cigarette consumption. The numbers of cigarettes smoked per day by two subjects with self-reported light smoking habits were predicted by measuring the urinary cotinine concentrations and using linear regression equations derived from above-mentioned data. These results indicate that biomonitoring of the urinary cotinine concentration is a good, easy-to-use marker for plasma levels of cotinine and the sum of nicotine metabolites in smokers independent of genetic polymorphism of CYP2A6