2007 Volume 32 Issue 1 Pages 9-18
It has been noted that chemical-induced initial insult is sometimes no longer detected in examinations after additional consecutive treatments, suggesting that the target organs acquire resistance to the chemical toxicity. In this study, whether acquired resistance to the skeletal muscle toxicity is observed during repeated treatment of a toxic dose of Compound A that has a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitory activity was examined. F344 male rats (7-weeks old) were given a mixed diet with 0.12% Compound A (corresponding to approximately 100 mg/kg/day) for up to 56 days. Blood samples were obtained from the tail vein periodically during the dosing period, and utilized for the measurement of creatine kinase (CK) as a marker of skeletal muscle injury. In the necropsies on Days 4, 8, 11, 28, 42 and 56, the skeletal muscles from the rectus femoris were removed for histopathology or gene expression analysis. A satellite group was provided to measure the plasma concentrations of Compound A and M1, the active metabolite of Compound A. CK levels increased from Day 9 and reached approximately 30 times those of the controls on Day 12. Histopathology of the skeletal muscle on Day 11 revealed severe necrosis of the muscle fibers. However, in spite of continuous treatments to the damaged rats, the CK levels decreased after that and returned to normal levels on Day 18. No skeletal muscle injury was observed on Days 42 and 56. There were no marked differences in the exposure levels of Compound A and M1 between Days 8 (prior to CK elevation) and 28 (post CK elevation). As for the most significant changes in the gene expression analysis for the skeletal muscle on Days 42 and 56, the probe for IκBa, which is known as an inhibitor for nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), increased 2-fold compared to the control. Furthermore, an increased probe for CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) delta, a transcriptional factor, and a decreased probe for cAMP-response element-binding protein (CBP)/p300, a transcriptional coactivator, were also noted significantly on Day 56. These changes in the gene expression analysis suggested suppressed NF-κB-mediated transactivation, which was responsible for the protective effects on the muscle injury. Based on the present findings, the resistance to skeletal muscle injury observed in this study may be attributable to the suppressed NF-κB-mediated transactivation, but not to the decreased exposure to toxicants.