We investigated the effects of three hepatotoxicants, acetaminophen (APAP), amiodarone (AD) and tetracycline (TC), on protein expression in primary cultured rat hepatocytes with toxicoproteomic approach, which is two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) and mass spectrometry. The objectives of this study were to search for alternative toxicity biomarkers which could be detected with high sensitivity prior to the appearance of morphological changes or alterations of analytical conventional biomarkers. The related proteins in the process of cell degeneration/necrosis such as cell death, lipid metabolism and lipid/carbohydrate metabolism were mainly affected under exposure to APAP, AD and TC, respectively. Among the differentially expressed proteins, several oxidative stress-related proteins were clearly identified after 24-hr exposure, even though they were not affected for 6-hr exposure. They were glutathione peroxidase (GPX) as a down-regulated protein as well as peroxiredoxin 1 (PRX1) and peroxiredoxin 2 (PRX2) as up-regulated proteins, which are known to serve as antioxidative enzymes in cells. These findings suggested that the focused proteins, GPX and PRXs, could be utilized as biomarkers of hepatotoxicity, and they were useful for setting high throughput screening methods to assess hepatotoxicity in the early stage of drug discovery.
2005 The Japanese Society of Toxicology