Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an octanoic acid derivative to which all aliphatic hydrocarbons are substituted by fluorine. PFOA and its salts are commercially used in various industrial processes. The chemical is persistent in the environment and does not undergo biotransformation. It was reported that PFOA is found not only in the serum of occupationally exposed workers but also general populations. Recent studies have suggested that the biological half-life of PFOA in humans is 4.37 years based on study of occupationally exposed workers. It is increasingly suspect that PFOA accumulates and affects human health, although the toxicokinetics of PFOA in humans remain unclear. In experimental animals, PFOA seems low in toxicity. PFOA is well-absorbed following oral and inhalation exposure, and to a lesser extent following dermal exposure. Once absorbed in the body, it distributes predominantly to the liver and plasma, and to a lesser extent the kidney and lungs. PFOA is excreted in both urine and feces. Biological half-life of PFOA is quite different between species and sexes and the difference is due mainly to the difference in renal clearance. In rats, renal clearance of PFOA is regulated by sex hormones, especially testosterone. PFOA is excreted into urine by active tubular secretion, and certain organic anion transporters are thought to be responsible for the secretion. Fecal excretion is also important in the elimination of PFOA. There is evidence that PFOA undergoes enterohepatic circulation resulting in reduced amounts of fecal excretion. Elucidation of the mechanisms of transport in biological systems leads to elimination and detoxification of this chemical in the human body.
To determine susceptibility of infants to 3-methylphenol, a repeated dose toxicity study was conducted with oral administration to newborn and young rats. In an 18-day newborn study from postnatal days 4 to 21 at doses of 30, 100 and 300 mg/kg/day, various clinical signs including deep respiration, hypersensitivity on handling and tremors under contact stimulus, and depressed body weight gain were observed at 300 mg/kg. At 100 mg/kg, hypersensitivity and tremors were also noted in a small number of males only on single days during the dosing period. No adverse effects were observed in the 30 mg/kg group. There were no abnormalities of physical development, sexual maturation and reflex ontogeny. The no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) for newborn rats was considered to be 30 mg/kg/day and the unequivocally toxic level 300 mg/kg/day. In a 28-day study starting at 5 weeks of age, clinical signs and depression of body weight gain, as observed in the newborn rats, appeared in both sexes at 1000 mg/kg but not 300 mg/kg. The NOAEL and the unequivocally toxic level were 300 mg/kg/day and 1,000 mg/kg/day, respectively. From these results, newborn rats were concluded to be 3 to 10 times more susceptible to 3-methylphenol than young rats. However, the realistic no adverse effect dose for the newborn must be slightly lower than 100 mg/kg/day, at which the toxicity incidence was very low, rather than 30 mg/kg/day. Based on this speculation and the equal toxicity at unequivocally toxic levels, the differences in the susceptibility to 3-methylphenol could be concluded to be 3 to 4 times. This is consistent with the results of our previous comparative studies on 4-nitrophenol, 2,4-dinitrophenol and 3-aminophenol, which showed 2 to 4 times differences in the susceptibility between newborn and young rats.
Bilirubin oxidative metabolites (BOM) were shown to be excreted into the urine in rats in which exaggerated oxidative stress was induced. We measured bilirubin (BR) and biopyrrins in the urine of rats treated with fenofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator, which is known to cause oxidative stress. Male Crj:CD(SD)IGS rats aged 6 weeks were treated orally with fenofibrate at 10, 400 and 800 mg/kg for 2 weeks. Urinary excretion of BR and BOM, and the plasma BOM levels were determined after the first dose and after 1-week and 2-week treatment. Urinary excretion of BOM was significantly and dose-dependently increased by fenofibrate treatment at 400 and 800mg/kg. This became more prominent as the dosing period progressed and reached an 8-fold increase in the 400 mg/kg group and 11-fold increase in the 800 mg/kg group compared with the data before dosing on Day 14. Plasma BOM levels were increased 1.8-fold and 2.7-fold, respectively, at 400 and 800 mg/kg in fenofibrate-treated rats. At 800 mg/kg, there was also increased urinary excretion of BR (2-fold) on Day 14. These changes of BOM in the urine and plasma indicated that BR was oxidized by reactive oxygen species (ROSs), which were produced by treatment with fenofibrate. In conclusion, urinary excretion of BOM, which is a marker for oxidative stress, urinary excretion of BR and the plasma BOM levels were increased in rats treated with fenofibrate. Increased urinary excretions of BR and BOM, and increased plasma BOM levels are likely to be the consequence of physiological protection against the oxidative stress produced by fenofibrate. These findings suggest a possibility that analysis of BOM in the urine and plasma could be helpful in evaluating the degree of oxidative stress in vivo.
The mechanism by which apoptosis is induced by local anesthetic bupivacaine, a potent uncoupler of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, was investigated. In promyelocytic leukemia cells HL-60, bupivacaine induced formation of apoptotic bodies and DNA fragmentation in a time- and dose-dependent manner similar to typical apoptosis inducers. Caspase-3, -8 and -9, which play a pivotal role in the initiation and execution of receptor- or mitochondria-mediated apoptosis, were all clearly activated by bupivacaine in good correlation with the degree of DNA fragmentation. However, bupivacaine did not induce either mitochondrial permeability transition (PT) or release of cytochrome c in experiments with isolated mitochondria. These results suggest that an indirect action of bupivacaine on mitochondria occurs and that other mechanisms may be involved in bupivacaine-induced apoptosis. To obtain additional information concerning the mechanism of action involved in bupivacaine-induced apoptosis, a microarray analysis of gene expression in bupivacaine-treated HL-60 cells was carried out. Several apoptosis-related genes were found to be transcriptionally regulated by bupivacaine using a high-density cDNA microarray. The expression levels of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), c-jun and c-fos genes were remarkably up-regulated and those of c-myc and poly (ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP) were down-regulated in bupivacaine-treated cells. These results are of value in developing a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of bupivacaine-induced apoptosis leading to neuro- or myotoxicity.
A 4-week intravenous repeated dose toxicity study of L-cysteine (L-Cys) was conducted in male Sprague-Dawley rats to investigate in detail the toxic effects of this compound and to determine the dose level at which these toxic effects are observed following repeated intravenous administration. Male rats were randomly allocated to 4 groups to receive L-Cys by intravenous administration at dosages of 0, 100, 300, and 1,000 mg/kg body weight/day. Body weight gain was significantly suppressed throughout the study period in the 1,000-mg/kg group, although food consumption was reduced only on study day 3. A decrease in spontaneous activity, salivation, stereotypy, ptosis, and tremor were observed in the 1,000-mg/kg group. Mild anemia characterized by decreases in hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin and an increase in the reticulocyte count was also noted in the 1,000-mg/kg group. Histopathological examination showed sperm granulomas in the epididymis and necrosis of the Purkinje cells and granular layer in the cerebellum in the 1,000-mg/kg group. Slight tubular basophilia with blood or hyaline casts was observed in the kidney in the 300-mg/kg and 1,000-mg/kg groups, associated with proteinuria or occult blood in urinalysis. Additional studies are needed to clarify the causes for these toxicological findings by excess of L-Cys.