The rasH2 mice are hemizygous transgenic mice carrying the human prototype c-Ha-ras gene with its own promoter region, and have been used in 6-month short-term carcinogenicity tests for pharmaceutical drugs in accordance with the recommendation of the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). Based on the validation studies, it has been recognized that they are very susceptible to genotoxic carcinogens. To elucidate the mechanism of the enhanced carcinogenesis, spontaneous and chemically induced tumors in rasH2 mice have been subjected to molecular analyses, but the results have thus far been equivocal. This article focuses on the possible molecular mechanism of enhanced carcinogenesis in rasH2 mice, based on the results of a search in the literature. In addition, there are several reports suggesting lesser carcinogenic susceptibility of rasH2 mice to some carcinogens: Malignant lymphomas were induced by treatment with phenolphthalein in heterozygous p53 knockout mice, but not in rasH2 mice, and ethinylestradiol, uterine tumor promoter, resulted in depression of uterine proliferative lesions in rasH2 mice. In this review, the possible mechanisms of why rasH2 mice were less sensitive for these carcinogens are also discussed.
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was administered subcutaneously at 1.5 or 15 μg/kg/day (DES 1.5 group, DES 15 group) to pregnant SD rats daily on days 7-21 of gestation to investigate its effects on the development and functions of the reproductive system and thyroid gland in their offspring. Of the 11 pregnant rats in the DES 15 group, only one delivered a live pup. Rat pups in the DES 1.5 group were autopsied at 1, 3, or 6 weeks after birth. In the DES 1.5 group, the plasma T4 concentrations at all weeks of age at autopsy were significantly increased, the TSH concentration at 6 weeks of age was also significantly increased, and the height of thyroid follicular epithelial cells was increased at 3 weeks. The testosterone concentration in the DES 1.5 group at 6 weeks was significantly decreased and the plasma LH concentration was increased. The DES treatment increased the plasma FSH concentration in female pups at 3 weeks, increased the percentages of primary and secondary ovarian follicles, and decreased the percentage of primordial follicles, but did not influence the timing of the vaginal opening or the onset of the estrous cycle. These observations indicate that prenatally administered DES increases thyroid function, and has an inhibitory effect on testicular function and a promoting effect on female reproductive function.
3H-Morphine at physiologic concentration was metabolized in vitro to its 3- and 6-glucuronides by human brain homogenate. Recombinant UGT2B7, one of the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) isoforms, is able to glucuronidate the 3- and 6-hydroxy groups of morphine at nanomolar concentrations. These results suggest that endogenous morphine is converted to its 6-glucuronide, a more highly analgesic substance than the parent compound, to suppress effectively pain symptoms in humans.
A comparative study on the reliability of toxicokinetic parameters for predicting hepatotoxicity was conducted in male F344 rats receiving a single (106 mg/kg by gavage) or 7-day repeated (1000 ppm in feed, 97 mg/kg/day) administration of p,p'-DDT. DDT was selected as the test substance because it is known as a hepatotoxic agent and its metabolic pathway is well documented. Concentrations of DDT and its metabolites (DDE and DDD) in the plasma, brain, and liver were measured at various time intervals during the study and the results were compared with the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) in relation to hepatotoxic response. Increases in the absolute and relative (ratio to body weight) liver weights were observed as a typical toxic response after a single or repeated exposure to DDT. The coefficient (R2) of correlation between the increases in the relative liver weight and the concentrations or AUC of DDT and its metabolites in the plasma and liver was estimated. The values of R2 between the relative liver weight and AUC of DDT or the total DDT (T-DDT) in the plasma and liver were found to be more consistent and higher than those with their concentrations in the repeated dose study. In addition, the R2 values in correlation with their AUCs after a single exposure were lower than those in the repeated dose study. These results indicate that the AUC of DDT or T-DDT in the plasma and liver would be more reliable than their concentrations for predicting hepatotoxicity caused by DDT, especially in the repeated dose study.
Although the patch test for visual skin observation is widely used clinically, it does not allow the mechanisms of side effects to be assessed. In this study, we examined poultice-type KP801 and tape-type KP-T patches containing ketoprofen. The parameters to measure side effects on skin were peeling intensity, amount of stripped stratum corneum, skin moisture and redness of skin color under various mechanical conditions. Since the amount of stripped stratum corneum with the tape-type KP-T patch was higher than with the poultice-type KP801 patch, the bio-adhesive strength of the latter was concluded to be lower. A clear relationship exists between the amount of stripped stratum corneum and skin moisture after tape-type patch removal, but this was not found with the poultice-type patch because of its hydration effects. Peeling intensity, one parameter to predict pain at the time of patch removal, was higher with the KP-T. As for mechanical conditions, when the patch is removed, it is important to remove it as slowly as possible and horizontally, and to avoid any rise in skin temperature. Finally, when a patch is applied to a region with little skin moisture, the amount of stripped stratum corneum may increase accordingly.
The neurochemical and behavioral effects of repeated subdermal administration of methyl parathion (MP) at low doses were investigated. Adult male rats were treated repeatedly with either vehicle or MP subcutaneously (3 mg/kg/day) and observed for the signs of toxicity during the treatment period. The toxic sign, tremor, reached maximum right after 9th injection in MP-treated rats, and declined thereafter. Animals were sacrificed and brains were taken 1 week or 3 weeks after the daily treatment for measurement of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and binding of radioligands, [3H]QNB (nonselective), [3H]pirenzepine (M1-selective), and [3H]AF-DX384 (M2-selective) to muscarinic receptors. With this treatment regimen, the AChE activity in the blood dropped quickly and maintained at 30% of the control level after 6 injections. After 3 weeks of treatment, MP caused 80 ~ 90% AChE inhibition and substantial reductions in [3H]QNB binding (9 ~ 33%), [3H]pirenzepine binding (9 ~ 22%) and [3H]AF-DX384 binding (6 ~ 38%) in different brain regions, including striatum, hippocampus, frontal cortex, thalamus and midbrain. After 1 week of treatment, the inhibition of AChE in brain regions was from 54 to 74%, whereas receptor densities were only marginally affected in a few regions. The timing of the changes in receptor population correlates well with the changes in behaviors during the repeated MP exposure. Our findings suggest that down-regulation of muscarinic receptors plays a role in the development of tolerance to MP. And, the regulations of muscarinic receptors were different among receptor subtypes and brain regions.
The possible mechanisms for shortening prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) were investigated using citrated plasma from rats and dogs in vitro, especially focusing on increased fibrinogen concentrations. When purified canine fibrinogen was added to citrated canine plasma at final concentrations of 2, 4 and 8 mg/mL, PT and APTT were significantly shortened. The increased concentrations of clottable fibrinogen in the test system were confirmed by markedly shortened thrombin time (TT). In citrated rat plasma, while purified rat fibrinogen had no effect on PT or APTT at final concentrations of 2, 4 and 8 mg/mL, it did shorten TT. These results suggest that an increased concentration of fibrinogen is a possible mechanism to shorten PT and APTT in dogs, but not in rats.
This study was designed to evaluate and characterize any subacute toxicity of 1-carboxy-5,7-dibromo-6-hydroxy-2,3,4-trichloroxanthone (HXCA), an impurity of Phloxine B (Food Red No. 104 in Japan, D&C Red No. 28 in the USA), when administered to both sexes of F344 rats at dietary levels of 0 (control), 0.005, 0.05 and 0.5%. During the study, the treatment had no effects on clinical signs, survival, urinalysis or ophthalmology. Hematology, blood biochemistry, gross pathology, organ weights, organ to body weight ratios and histopathology exhibited no differences of toxicological significance between control and treated rats. Reactions to treatment may be summarized as follows: there was a tendency for increased food and water consumption and decreased food efficiency in both sexes of the 0.5% group. Thus, these results indicated the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of HXCA to be 0.05% (39.3 mg/kg/day for males, and 41.0 mg/kg/day for females).
L-Buthionine (S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO), an inhibitor of glutathione (GSH) synthesis, was administered to mice via drinking water for 14 days in order to establish an animal model with continuously depleted levels of GSH. No toxicity was observed at 20 mM BSO, even though a significant decrease in liver weight was observed at 30 mM BSO. GSH levels in the liver, kidney, brain, lung, heart, spleen, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, skeletal muscle, plasma and blood cells from mice given 20 mM of BSO were all less than those from the control mice continuously throughout a 24-hr period. The ratios of the GSH levels to that of the control were 46.4% and 16.7% in the liver and kidney, respectively, suggesting a decrease in GSH conjugation activity in vivo by GSH depletion. Liver cytochrome P450 content and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activity to p-nitrophenol were not influenced by the BSO dosing. To confirm the adequacy of this GSH-depletion model, 0.125 or 0.25% of acetaminophen (APAP) was administered via diet to this model for 14 days. Nine out of the ten mice given both 20 mM BSO and 0.25% APAP died on Day 2, and remarkable necrosis was observed in the hepatocytes and renal tubular epithelium. Moreover, focal necrosis of hepatocytes with proliferation of fibroblasts was observed on Day 15 in some mice coadministered 20 mM BSO and 0.125% APAP. However, no toxicity was observed in mice given APAP alone. Based on these results, a mouse given 20 mM of BSO via drinking water for 14 days was concluded to be an animal model with continuously depleted levels of GSH in various organs without toxicity. This model shows high susceptibility to toxicity induced by chemicals which are metabolized to electrophilic and reactive metabolite(s), such as APAP.
Wormwood , Artemisia absinthium, is a very bitter plant, and its extract has been used as food additives such as seasonings for food and drinks. A 13-week repeated dose toxicity study of wormwood extract was performed in both sexes of Wistar Hannover (GALAS) rats. Rats were divided into 4 groups consisting of 10 males and 10 females each, and were given water containing 0, 0.125, 0.5, or 2% wormwood extract. All rats had survived at the end of the study, and no changes indicating obvious toxicities that are attributable to the treatment of wormwood extract were observed in the body weights, hematological and serum biochemical examinations, organ weights, and histopathological examinations. Based on the results of the present study, the NOAEL (no-observed-adverse-effect-level) of wormwood extract of Wistar Hannover rats was estimated to be 2% (equivalent to 1.27 g/kg/day in males and 2.06 g/kg/day in females) or more.