Since malignant tumors are life-threatening, the death rate from these diseases is high, and existing therapies have limited effectiveness, it is desired to provide new effective anticancer drugs to tumor patients sooner. However, there is no guideline regarding non-clinical safety studies on the development of anticancer drugs required for the first in human clinical trials and for the approval applications in Japan. Then, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) established the collaboration group including regulatory, academic and industrial scientists to prepare the guideline on the non-clinical safety evaluation of anticancer drugs in 2004. As a guide for basic concept of non-clinical safety studies on anticancer drugs, the "Points to Consider" document was prepared by this group in 2007.
We previously found that administration of ascorbic acid (AA) enhances the liver tumor-promoting activity of kojic acid (KA) in mice. To examine the reproducibility of these results in rats and the underlying mechanism of this effect, we employed a two-stage liver carcinogenesis model using male F344 rats. Two weeks after initiation with diethylnitrosamine (DEN), the animals received a diet containing 2% KA and drinking water with or without 5,000 ppm AA for a period of 7 weeks. A DEN-alone group was also established as a control. One week after the commencement of the administration, the animals were subjected to two-thirds partial hepatectomy. At the end of the experiment, the livers were analyzed immunohistochemically, and the mRNA expression level and extent of lipid peroxidation were measured. AA treatment enhanced the KA-induced tumor-promoting activity in terms of the number and area of liver cell foci that were positive for glutathione-S-transferase placental form. AA coadministration increased the number of hepatocytes positive for proliferating cell nuclear antigen and inversely decreased the number of TUNEL-positive cells. However, the increased level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances resulting from KA treatment was suppressed by coadministration of AA. Gene expression analyses using low-density microarrays and real-time RT-PCR showed that coadministration of AA resulted in upregulation of genes related to cell proliferation and downregulation of those involved in apoptosis and/or cell cycle arrest. These results indicate that the concerted effects of AA on cell proliferation and apoptosis/cell cycle arrest probably through its antioxidant activity are involved in this enhancement.
Subchronic oral toxicity of 1,4-dioxane was examined by administering 1,4-dioxane in drinking water at 6 different concentrations of 0 (control), 640, 1,600, 4,000, 10,000 or 25,000 ppm (wt/wt) to F344 rats and BDF1mice of both sexes for 13 weeks. Food and water consumption and terminal body weight were decreased dose-dependently in rats and mice. A dose-dependent increase in the relative weights of kidney and lung was noted in rats and mice, while the relative liver weight was increased only in rats. Increases in plasma levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and a decrease in plasma glucose were noted primarily in the rats and mice dosed 25,000 ppm. Histopathological examination revealed that 1,4-dioxane affected the upper and lower respiratory tracts, liver, kidneys and brain in rats, while only the former two organs were affected in mice. Nuclear enlargement occurred in the respiratory, olfactory, tracheal and bronchial epithelia of the 1,4-dioxane-dosed rats and mice. The 1,4-dioxane-induced hepatic lesions were characterized by centrilobular swelling and necrosis in rats and mice and by glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P)-positive altered hepatocellular foci in rats, which are known as preneoplastic lesions. A no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) was determined at 640 ppm for both rats and mice, since the nuclear enlargement in the nasal respiratory epithelium and the centrilobular swelling of hepatocytes in rats and the nuclear enlargement in the bronchial epithelium in mice were observed at 1,600 ppm. The NOAEL value corresponded to the estimated 1,4-dioxane intake of 52 mg/kg/day in rats and 170 mg/kg/day in mice.
Persistent perfluorinated organic compounds such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were distributed widely in the global. PFOS (15 µM or higher) caused backward swimming of paramecia. The Triton-extracted paramecia, where the membrane was disrupted and the externally applied chemicals are freely accessible to the ciliary apparatus, showed forward swimming up to 0.1 µM Ca2+ in the medium and backward swimming at about 0.2 µM and higher. PFOS (0.1 mM) did not change the relationship between the swimming directions and free Ca2+ concentrations. Effects of various surfactants including PFOS and PFOA on the swimming direction of paramecia were compared with the hemolysis of mouse erythrocytes as an indicator of surfactant activities. The hemolysis did not correlate with their swimming behavior. PFOS caused triphasic membrane potential changes both in the wild-type paramecia and caudatum non-reversal (CNR) mutants, the latter is defective in voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. An action potential of the wild-type specimen was induced at lower current intensity when PFOS was present in the medium. Voltage-clamp study indicated that PFOS had no effect on the depolarization-induced Ca2+ influx responsible for the action potential. The membrane potential responses obtained were similar to those obtained by the application of some bitter substances such as quinine that activate chemoreceptors of paramecia. Since the CNR specimens did not exhibit PFOS-induced backward swimming at concentrations examined, the backward swimming is attributable to the influx of Ca2+ into the cilia through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. The Ca2+ channels are most probably activated by the depolarizing receptor potentials resulted from the PFOS-induced activation of chemoreceptors.
Drug-induced hepatotoxicity is one of the most common adverse events associated with drug withdrawal from the market. Elucidating the molecular mechanism of hepatotoxicity is essential to predict the safety of a new molecule. To examine genes involved in hepatotoxicity, we have used oligonucleotide CodeLink Bioarrays and determined the transcriptional profile of mice liver treated with hepatotoxic drug N-acetyl-p-amino-phenol (APAP) as well as its non-toxic analog N-acetyl-m-amino-phenol (AMAP). Out of 20,000 genes analyzed, 896 showed differential expression of ≥ 2-fold (648 upregulated and 248 downregulated) within the liver of APAP treated mice as compared to control. In comparison to AMAP treated mice, 62 genes were upregulated and 70 genes were downregulated in mice liver after APAP treatment. Functional classification of these differentially expressed genes identified genes associated with stress response, cell cycle, growth inhibition, cell death, structural components, cell signaling and inflammation. Gene expression profile was further correlated with biochemical analysis and histopathological lesions. These data show that gene expression profiling would help in better understanding the molecular basis of drug-induced hepatotoxicity that will lead to rational development of safer drugs, particularly in pre-clinical stages.
Contact allergens induce in vitro and in vivo the activation of dendritic cells (DC) and Langerhans cells (LC), which includes the up-regulation of surface marker expression (e.g. CD86, CD54) and cytokine production (e.g. TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8). The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway also has a crucial role in this activation. However, the extent of MAPK involvement in the IL-8 production during DC/LC activation is not well understood. Earlier, we reported that contact allergens activated THP-1 cells, human monocytic cell line, like LC/DC in vitro. In this study, we further characterize the mechanism of IL-8 production using THP-1 cells as surrogate DCs. First, we evaluated the potential of 23 chemicals with different skin sensitization potencies to predominantly induce IL-8 production in vitro. Next we investigated the role of MAPK signaling and TNF-α, which is known to have autocrine effects on DC activation (e.g., IL-8 production). Inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), one of the MAPK pathways, suppressed the IL-8 production induced by both 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) and nickel sulfate (NiSO4), and inhibition of p38 MAPK, a second MAPK pathway, significantly suppressed IL-8 production induced by only DNCB. Additionally, neutralization of TNF-α activity suppressed IL-8 production in THP-1 cells exposed to DNCB and NiSO4. In conclusion, IL-8 production was predominantly induced in THP-1 cells following allergen stimulation, and MAPK pathways and TNF-α were involved in the IL-8 production induced by DNCB and NiSO4. A better understanding of the mechanism of DC activation in vitro might lead to the clarification of the in vivo skin sensitization mechanism.
For the purpose of a side-effect monitoring of isoniazid (INH), we investigated the relationship between the genotypes of drug-metabolizing enzymes involved in INH metabolism and the serum concentrations of INH and its metabolites in 129 tuberculosis patients hospitalizing in the National Hospital Organization Chiba-East Hospital. Genotype distributions of N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2), CYP2E1*5B, CYP2E1*6, Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) M1 and GST T1 were similar to those already reported in Japanese populations. Acetylating pathway of INH to acetyl isoniazid (AcINH) tended to shift to the hydrolytic pathway generating hydrazine (Hz) with the increase of mutant alleles in NAT2 gene. Serum concentration of Hz was significantly higher in slow acetylators than in rapid acetylators of NAT2. And also, serum concentration of Hz was significantly higher in the group that showed a high concentration of rifampicin (RFP) than in which RFP was not detected. The effect of CYP2E1 gene polymorphisms on the serum concentration of Hz was rarely observed, while that of GST gene polymorphism was observed in intermediate acetylators of NAT2. Hz tended to accumulate in patients with GST M1 null genotype. Therefore, it is conceivable that the risk factors of Hz accumulation are as follows: NAT2 slow acetylator phenotype, high concentration of serum RFP, and GST M1 null genotype. In these cases, we think it's necessary to pay attention to the development of hepatic disorder caused by Hz.
To examine the possible modifying effect of the extract of Siraitia grosvenori (SGE), a naturally occurring antioxidative agent, on piperonyl butoxide (PBO)-promoted hepatocarcinogenesis, male F344 rats were administered a single intraperitoneal injection of N-diethylnitrosamine (DEN) as an initiator followed by administration of a diet containing 2% PBO for 7 weeks with or without SGE (1,000 ppm) in the drinking water. To enhance cellular proliferation, all animals underwent two-thirds partial hepatectomy 1 week after the commencement of PBO administration. Pretreatment with SGE was also applied to the PBO + SGE group for 2 weeks prior to DEN initiation. Liver immunohistochemistry revealed that although the PBO-mediated increase in the number of glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P)-positive foci and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells remained unaltered with SGE coadministration, the area of the GST-P-positive foci was increased. On the contrary, real-time RT-PCR showed that coadministration of SGE increased hepatic GST and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) antioxidant activities and mRNA expression levels of the phase II enzymes that are known to be transcriptionally up-regulated through the Nrf 2-Keap1-antioxidant responsive element (ARE) as well as the phase III enzymes. Furthermore, measurement of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances showed a decrease in lipid peroxidation by SGE coadministration. The results suggest that SGE may exert hepatic antioxidant activity by up-regulating the genes under the control of the Nrf 2-Keap1-ARE transcriptional machinery; however, this activity was neither effective nor sufficient for suppression of PBO-promoted early hepatocarcinogenesis.
To elucidate the pathophysiological significance of adenosine 3'-monophosphate (3'-AMP) forming enzyme in mice, the effect of streptozotocin (STZ) on the enzyme activities and adenine nucleotide levels in the ICR mice (4-week-old) liver was examined. After 2 weeks, treatment with a single dosage of STZ (100, 150 or 200 mg/kg i.p.) induced a dose-dependent hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia but had no effect on serum alanine aminotransferase activity, indicating that STZ generated type 1 diabetes without hepatitis. In the diabetic liver, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and ATP levels decreased, and the microsomal CYP2E1 activity increased. Changes of these biological activities might disrupt the cellular homeostatic balance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. The activities of 3'-AMP forming enzyme, one of the ribonucleases, in hepatic homogenates were not altered. However, in the STZ 200 mg/kg group, the cytosolic forming enzyme activities were enhanced, and inversely, the mitochondrial activity was reduced significantly, indicating that the decrease in the mitochondrial activity may be accelerated by development of diabetes due to the decrease in the antioxidant defense system and/or increase in ROS production. With the decrease in the 3'-AMP forming enzyme activity, the levels of 3'-AMP, a P-site inhibitor of adenylate cyclase, in mitochondrial were significantly reduced. These results obtained suggested that change in the mitochondrial 3'-AMP forming enzyme activity might reflect the pathophysiological change of mitochondrial function with the development of diabetes. Our results also suggested that change in cytosolic enzyme activity might serve as a new biomarker of oxidative stress because significant negative correlation between the activities of cytosolic 3'-AMP forming enzyme and SOD was found in the early stage of diabetes.
Pregnant mice exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) causes neonatal death. Ten pregnant ICR mice per group were given 1, 10 or 20 mg/kg PFOS daily by gavage from gestational day (GD) 0 to the end of the study. Five dams per group were sacrificed on GD 18 for prenatal evaluation, the others were left to give birth. Additional studies were conducted for histopathological examination of lungs and heads of fetuses and neonates at birth. PFOS treatment (20 mg/kg) reduced the maternal weight gain and feed intake but increased the water intake. The liver weight increased in a dose-dependent manner accompanied by hepatic hypertrophy at 20 mg/kg. PFOS reduced the fetal body weight in a dose-dependent manner and caused a bilateral enlargement in the neck region in all fetuses at 20 mg/kg and mild enlargement in some fetuses at 10 mg/kg, in addition to skeletal malformations. Almost all fetuses at 20 mg/kg were alive on GD18 and showed normal lung structure; but at parturition, all neonates were inactive and weak, showed severe lung atelectasis and severe dilatation of intracranial blood vessel, and died within a few hours. At 10 mg/kg, all neonates were born alive, 27% showed slight lung atelectasis, all of them had mild to severe dilatation of the intracranial blood vessel, and 45% of neonates died within 24 hr. The cause of neonatal death in mice exposed to PFOS may be attributed either to the intracranial blood vessel dilatation or to respiratory dysfunction. The former might be a cause of the latter.
To examine an association between selenium level and gastric cancer (GC) risk, a hospital-based case-control study was conducted in Cali, Colombia. Selenium concentrations in toenails were compared between 142 GC patients and 244 controls selected from hospitalized non-cancer patients. GC risk was lowest in the lowest quartile of selenium level and highest in the second highest quartile (age-, sex-, hospital-, and sampling-season-adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 5.9, 95% confidence interval: 2.8, 12.4). This association was not modified by either tumor location or Lauren's histological type. The magnitude of ORs was not affected by other diets that were significantly associated with GC risk. Since selenium levels were relatively high in cases and in controls, our results indicate that an inverse association between selenium level and GC risk may exist only among populations with low selenium levels.
Cytosine and adenine (CA) repeats polymorphism (D14S1026) iterating "cytosine and adenine" nucleotide motifs is one of the genomic microsatellites in intron 5 of the estrogen receptor β (ER β) gene (14q22-24). Relations between CA repeats polymorphism and several diseases have been shown. Although the relation between number of CA repeats and gene transcription has been actively studied using several genes, results have remained contradictory until this time. In this study, we examined the functional effects of CA repeats polymorphism on transcriptional activity based on our knowledge of the ER β gene. After preparing four types of reporter gene constructs containing 15, 18, 24 or 27 CA repeats, luciferase reporter gene assays were performed. Relative luciferase activities of these constructs were not significantly different from that of the no inserted vector and variation of CA repeats did not affect these activities. Our results indicate that CA repeats polymorphism might not only affect transcriptional activity but also other processes of gene expressions. Further studies are needed to clarify the specific functions of CA repeats polymorphism in the ER β gene.
In order to prepare background data for toxicity studies, serum alkaline phosphatase activity in a total of 5,242 male and female beagle dogs was surveyed for the sequence of changes in activity through aging. About 95% of the beagle dogs surveyed were 5 to 12 months of age, corresponding with the age usually employed in toxicity studies. Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, about 460 IU/l at 5 months of age, steadily decreased and reached a level about one third of that (about 160 IU/l) at 12 months of age, and remained unchanged thereafter. The above findings were essentially the same irrespective of sex and breeding colony. The present results are useful information in the evaluation of blood chemistry data in toxicity studies.
The authors previously demonstrated that high doses of recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF) induce bone changes characterized by accelerated osteoclastic bone resorption and osteogenesis due to intramembranous ossification in rats. As a basis for future analysis of the mechanisms of rhG-CSF-induced bone changes, the present study was undertaken to determine whether the bone changes observed in rats are also induced in mice. The experiment was conducted under the conditions that clearly induce bone changes in rats. Namely, 4- or 6-week-old mice received a subcutaneous injection of rhG-CSF (1,000 or 5,000 µg/kg) for 14 or 28 days, and then the femur and tibia were evaluated histopathologically. A marked increase in peripheral blood leukocyte counts, prominent splenomegaly, and a marked increase in the number of granulopoietic cells in the bone marrow, all of which are related to the major pharmacological activity of G-CSF, was observed in the rhG-CSF-treated mice. The histopathological changes observed in the rat bone, such as accelerated osteoclastic bone resorption and osteogenesis due to intramembranous ossification, were not detected in mice. These results suggest that there is a species-related difference between mice and rats in the response of the bone to rhG-CSF treatment, and that the reactivity in mice is lower than in rats.