Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) inhibits acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction in isolated muscles, and ouabain can partially block its effect. However, it is not clear whether ouabain attenuates BoNT/A-induced neuromuscular paralysis in vivo. In this work, we investigated the effects of ouabain on BoNT/A-induced neuromuscular paralysis in mice. Ouabain was administered to mice intraperitoneally immediately after a single injection of BoNT/A into skeletal muscle. The effects of ouabain on BoNT/A-induced muscle paralysis were assessed by quantitative monitoring of muscle tension and digit abduction via the digit abduction scoring (DAS) assay. A single administration of ouabain significantly prolonged BoNT/A-induced neuromuscular paralysis. Moreover, consecutive daily injection of ouabain exacerbated BoNT/A-induced neuromuscular paralysis, and led to a significant decrease in both twitch and tetanic forces as assayed in isolated BoNT/A-injected muscles. We next looked at the effects of ouabain on BoNT/A-induced muscle atrophy. Administration of ouabain led to a decrease in the myofibrillar cross-sectional area (CSAs) by 14 post-BoNT/A injection. In addition, repeated administration of ouabain increased mRNA expression levels of ubiquitin ligases, which are markers of muscle atrophy, in BoNT/A-injected muscle. These results suggest that ouabain exacerbates BoNT/A-induced neuromuscular paralysis via a marked progression of BoNT/A-induced muscle atrophy.
This study was carried out to assess the cytotoxicity of three kinds of refractory fibers (RFs), RF1, RF2, and RF3, by cell magnetometry, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay and morphological observation by scanning electron microscopy, using a mouse-derived cultured cell line, RAW264.7. As an indicator for cell magnetometry, Fe3O4 was added to RAW264.7 cells. RF1, RF2 and RF3 were each added to an aliquot of this solution to make final concentrations of 250, 500 and 1,000 µg/ml in the experimental group. Phosphate buffered solution was added to make the control solution (n = 6). After culturing for 48 hr, the solution was magnetized from outside using a cell magnetometric apparatus, and the remnant magnetic field was measured for 20 min postmagnetization. In cell magnetometry, a significant delay of relaxation compared to that of the control was observed. In the LDH assay, LDH release into the culture medium was observed by addition of RFs. Furthermore, a quantity-dependent relationship was found between the quantity of RF added and the cytotoxicity in cell magnetometry and LDH assay. Morphological examination revealed incomplete phagocytosis of fibers and a decrease of microvilli in the experimental groups. These results suggest that RFs are cytotoxic to RAW264.7 cells, showing concentration-dependent cytotoxicity, and have a possible risk of cytotoxicity similar to that of asbestos. Further studies by pulmonary magnetometry are necessary to assess the hazardousness of RFs.
Amberlite XAD-2 resin extracts of river and drinking water sampled from the Northwest district of Chiba Prefecture in each month during the period from January to December 2008 were investigated to characterize and determine their mutagenic potentials and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) levels. The extracts from the river water were shown to be mutagenic in Salmonella typhimurium TA98 (a flameshift mutagen) without S9 mix, with higher mutagenic responses in summer and early fall seasons. While the drinking water extracts exhibited weak mutagenicity in both the TA98 and TA100 strains (a base-pair substitution mutagen) without S9 mix, with high mutagenic responses in fall and early winter seasons. GC/MS determinations of the water concentrates showed some seasonal scatter in PAH levels in river water. In contrast, comparatively high concentrations of PAHs were observed for drinking water samples collected during warmer seasons. Statistical studies revealed that there is a lower correlation between the levels of flameshift mutagenicity and the concentrations of PAH in the river water concentrations, but a higher correlation between them in the drinking water samples.
Ribosomal protein L3 (RPL3) is known to be an indispensable and essential component for the peptidyltransferase center. In the present study, we found a novel function of RPL3 using a Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. When expressed in X. oocytes, RPL3 mediated the high affinity transport of [3H]digoxin (Km = 213.3 ± 46.8 nM) in a time-, concentration-, and sodium-dependent manners. The maximum velocity of the transport of [3H]digoxin via RPL3 produced at physiological pH. However, we did not observe RPL3-mediated transport of several organic solutes such as [14C]androstenedione, [3H]dexamethasone, [3H]dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, [3H]L-tryptophan, [14C]L-ascorbic acid, [14C]α-ketoglutarate, [14C]glutarate, [3H]methotrexate, [3H]bumetanide, [3H]probenecid, [14C]salicylic acid, [14C]theophylline and [3H]valproate. Our results suggest that RPL3 functions as a drug carrier protein and may be involved in the digoxin toxicity in the human body.
Persistent perfluorinated organic compounds such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are distributed widely in the global environment including wildlife and human. In this study, we investigated the genotoxicity of PFOS and PFOA using the novel in vivo comet assay developed for Parameciumcaudatum. For the comet assay, large nuclei squeezed out of the paramecia with 0.25 M sucrose containing 0.6% Triton X-100 were embedded in a layer of agarose gel placed over the slide glass. N-methyl-N´-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) and 2-aminoanthracene (2-AA) were successfully used for positive controls. Productions of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were also measured in paramecia. PFOS did not cause DNA damage on any conditions examined. On the other hand, 12 and 24 hr exposure to PFOA (100 µM) increased DNA migration in electrophoresis condition at pH 13, but not at pH 12.1, suggesting that the DNA damage may be alkali labile site (such as apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) site). Exposure of paramecia to 100 µM PFOA for 1, 3 and 24 hr and to 10 µM PFOA for 24 hr significantly increased intracellular ROS. Under the same condition, however, 8-OH-dG level was not affected by PFOA. The PFOA-induced DNA damage was not abolished by the application of 100 µM GSH which completely inhibited the increase of intracellular ROS. In conclusion, the PFOA-induced in vivo DNA damage was first shown in paramecia, and the DNA damage might not be directly attributable to increase in intracellular ROS.
Naphthalene undergoes biotransformation by a variety of enzymes to yield 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ), a reactive metabolite that binds covalently to proteins. Because this covalent modification is thought to account for naphthalene toxicity, a procedure to detect 1,2-NQ bound to macromolecules is required. In this study, we prepared a polyclonal antibody against 1,2-NQ and examined the specificities of the antibody for various aromatic structures and for the regiochemistry of the quinone functionality. Western blot analysis revealed that the antibody prepared against 1,2-NQ recognized the naphthalene moiety with the ortho-dicarbonyl group, but not with the para-dicarbonyl group; in addition, little cross-reactivity of ortho-quinones with different numbers of aromatic rings (n = 1, 3, 4, 5, 6) was seen. Dot blot and Western blot analyses with the polyclonal antibody enabled quantitative determination of the formation of protein-bound 1,2-NQ during the metabolic activation of naphthalene. The present method can be expected to applicable for the identification of the molecular targets of 1,2-NQ derived from naphthalene in cells and tissues.
The reactions of hetero-tricyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (H-TCAHs) with hypochlorite in an aqueous solution were investigated under conditions that simulate wastewater disinfection. H-TCAH-hypochlorite reaction products were determined by gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analyses. For 20 µM, 10H-phenothiazine, 10H-phenoxazine, and phenoxathiin reacted rapidly with active chlorine in neutral pH (7.0), but no phenazine-hypochlorite reaction was observed over pH values of 5-9 for 1 hr. The 10H-phenothiazine-hypochlorite reaction began by oxidation with active chlorine to form its dioxides, followed by chloro-substitution in water. The extent of the reactions depended on the chlorine dose, solution pH and compound structures. Ames assays for the chlorination byproducts of 10H-phenothiazine and 10H-phenoxazine also showed to be weak mutagenicity in TA98 and TA100 strains without S9 mix, but no chlorination byproducts of phenoxathiin exhibited any mutagenicity in both tester strains with and without S9 mix.
Extended term, continuous measurement and observation of drug responses were performed to examine the feasibility of a custom-made whole-body plethysmograph for measuring respiratory function in unanesthetized, unrestrained monkeys. Using this apparatus, respiratory function (respiration rate, tidal volume, and minute volume) was observed for 23 hr in unanesthetized, unrestrained cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). The respiration rate, tidal volume, and minute volume in the light period (7:00 to 19:00) reached approximately 30% to 50% higher values than in the dark period (19:00 to 7:00), thus clearly exhibiting circadian variation in the cynomolgus monkey respiratory functions. Administration of morphine (10 mg/kg, s.c.) resulted in sustained reduction in tidal volume and minute volume, and ketamine (30 mg/kg [sub-anesthetic dose], i.m.) also produced sustained reduction in respiration rate, tidal volume, and minute volume. With dimorpholamine (1 mg/kg, i.v.) or caffeine (10 mg/kg, s.c.), respiration rate, tidal volume, and minute volume increased. Physiological saline (1 ml/kg, s.c. and 0.1 ml/kg, i.v.) and chlorpromazine (10 mg/kg, s.c.) produced no clear-cut changes in respiration rate, tidal volume, or minute volume. From the above results, we conclude that our custom-made whole-body plethysmograph is useful for measuring respiratory function in unanesthetized and unrestrained monkeys.
Changes of cell-surface thiols induced by chemical treatment may affect the conformations of membrane proteins and intracellular signaling mechanisms. In our previous study, we found that a non-toxic dose of diphenylcyclopropene (DPCP), which is a potent skin sensitizer, induced an increase of cell-surface thiols in cells of a human monocytic cell line, THP-1. Here, we examined the influence of DPCP on intracellular signaling. First, we confirmed that DPCP induced an increase of cell-surface thiols not only in THP-1 cells, but also in primary monocytes. The intracellular reduced-form glutathione/oxidized-form glutathione ratio (GSH/GSSG ratio) was not affected by DPCP treatment. By means of labeling with a membrane-impermeable thiol-reactive compound, Alexa Fluor 488 C5 maleimide (AFM), followed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and analysis by liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS), we identified several proteins whose thiol contents were modified in response to DPCP. These proteins included cell membrane components, such as actin and β-tubulin, molecular chaperones, such as heat shock protein 27A and 70, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-inducible proteins. Next, we confirmed the expression in DPCP-treated cells of spliced XBP1, a known marker of ER stress. We also detected the phosphorylation of SAPK/JNK and p38 MAPK, which are downstream signaling molecules in the IRE1α-ASK1 pathway, which is activated by ER stress. These data suggested that increase of cell-surface thiols might be associated with activation of ER stress-mediated signaling.
To determine the optimum timing of partial hepatectomy (PH) in a previously developed mouse liver micronucleus test (Igarashi and Shimada, 1997), the relation between DNA damage and micronucleus was examined using the in vivo alkaline comet assay and the micronucleus test on the liver of the same individual mouse. Five genotoxic carcinogens, 1-nitropyrene (1-NP) (125 mg/kg), cyclophosphamide (CP) (50 mg/kg), methylmethan sulfonate (MMS) (80 mg/kg), mitomycin C (MMC) (2 mg/kg) and diethylnitrosamine (DEN) (50 mg/kg) were intraperitoneally dosed to each group consisting of 4 male ddY mice. The mice were subjected to PH 3, 8 or 24 hr after dosing of each carcinogen, and comet assay was performed using the removed liver. The regenerated hepatocyte was sampled five days after PH, and the incidence of micronucleus was measured. CP, MMS, MMC and DEN induced DNA damage at 8 and 24 hr after dosing, while 1-NP induced DNA damage only 8 hr after dosing. All five carcinogens induced micronuclei whenever PH was performed. In the case of CP, the peak of DNA damage was 24 hr after dosing and the timing of PH did not remarkably affect the incidence of micronuclei. The other 4 carcinogens showed peak DNA damage at 8 hr and the highest incidence of micronuclei when PH was operated 24 hr after dosing. In conclusion, we are the first to show the relation of induction between DNA damage and micronucleus in the liver from the same mouse, and tentatively showed the optimal timing of PH as 24 hr after dosing.
1,2-Naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ) is an uncoupling agent for constitutive nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS), thereby inhibiting its catalytic activity. However, little information on whether this quinone can affect inducible NOS (iNOS) is available. To address this issue, we examined the effect of 1,2-NQ on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated induction of iNOS. Exposure of LPS-challenged RAW264.7 cells to 1,2-NQ resulted in decreased NO formation through a reduction in iNOS production. Under these conditions, LPS-induced activation of nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB) coupled to phosphorylation of inhibitory κBα (IκBα) declined. Similar effects of 1,2-NQ were observed in the lungs of mice exposed to LPS. Using IκB kinase β (IKKβ)-transfected RAW264.7 cells and recombinant IKKβ protein, we found that 1,2-NQ diminished the phosphorylation of IκB by IKKβ enzymatic activity. Taken together, these results suggest that 1,2-NQ reduces iNOS-catalyzed NO production through 1) an uncoupling reaction, as reported previously, and/or 2) disruption of IKKβ/NF-κB signaling.
The embryonic stem cell test (EST) is a validated method and a useful screening tool for drug discovery. EST requires microscopic observation of beating cells to be considered cardiomyocytes as an endpoint assay. However, this procedure is time-consuming and limits the throughput performance. Instead of microscopic observation, we previously established a novel assay method based on cardiac field potential as an endpoint. However, cardiac specificity of this field potential is not yet clarified, because beating cells have not been rigorously evaluated as skeletal or cardiomyocyte. Here, we investigated the relationships between field potential, beating, and cardiac troponin T (cTnT) expression, selected as a cardiomyocyte-specific marker, and evaluated suitability of the field potential as a marker for cardiomyocyte in vehicle or 5-fluorouracil treated embryo bodies. Embryoid bodies of mouse embryonic stem cells (D3) were differentiated in a chamber with multi-electrode array for 5 days, and field potential and beating were measured at the end of differentiation. In addition, these chambers were immunohistochemically stained with anti-cTnT antibody, and the correlation between field potential, beating, and cTnT expression was examined. These results indicated the area of field potential or beating mainly coincided with that of cTnT expression. 5-fluorouracil treatment decreased not only the number of field potential detecting electrodes and beating area, but also cTnT expression, and the area of these parameters was also nearly identical. These results indicate that field potential can be used as a suitable cardiac differentiation marker, and can be a promising parameter of EST.
To evaluate the possible toxicity of the aqueous extract of Echinodorus grandiflorus in pregnant rats, animals were distributed in groups treated with 250, 500 and 1,000 mg/kg/day, by gavage, and a control group received saline solution. The treatment was carried out for 15 consecutive days, remaining during mating and until the 14th day of gestation. On the 15th day, pregnant animals were euthanized by exsanguination under anesthesia. A blood sample was destined to the hematological and biochemical analysis. The ovaries, liver, kidneys, spleen, and adrenal glands were removed and weighed. Liver, kidneys and spleen were processed for histopathological analysis. The number mated, cohabitated and pregnant rats were counted as well as the corpora lutea, implants, resorptions, and live and dead fetuses. Fetus body weight and placenta were measured. Treatment with 1,000 mg of extract caused anemia, leukocytosis, and an increase in AST and in cholesterol. The liver of animals treated with the two higher doses exhibited discrete inflammatory reaction, located mainly at the stroma which supports the portal space; in the kidneys of animals of T-500 and T-1000 groups there was an expressive decrease in the capsular space, and focal areas of vasodilatation and congestion, as well as a discrete hyalinization, and in the spleen of T-1000 group the red pulp presented excessive pigmentation suggestive of hemosiderin. There were no alterations in reproductive parameters, in fetus external morphology or in placenta weight. In conclusion, the extract causes maternal toxicity, though it does not alter the reproductive performance.
Human lymphocytes have been frequently used for in vitro chromosome aberration or micronucleus tests on whole-blood culture. However, it is difficult to observe or confirm the cell growth of lymphocytes just before chemical treatment compared with cultured cell lines, such as CHL or CHO cells. In order to overcome this drawback of using whole-blood culture, we investigated a possibility of using an automated hematology analyzer (AHA) (Sysmex XT-2000i, SYSMEX Corp. (Hyogo, Japan)) to measure the growth of lymphocytes applying a manual function of this apparatus. In this study, whole-blood samples were cultured for 4 days, and the growth of lymphocytes was measured once a day using a standard flow cytometer (FCM) with antibody CD3 and DNA staining solution, and by the AHA simultaneously. The results showed that growth curves produced employing the two methods coincided fairly well. Therefore, it can be concluded that the growth of lymphocytes in whole-blood culture can be measured using AHA in a straightforward and rapid way in in vitro chromosome aberration or micronucleus tests.
Several appliance manufacturers have recently released new type air purifiers that can disinfect bacteria, fungi and viruses by diffusing reactive oxygen species (ROS) into the air. In this study, mice were exposed to the outlet air from each of 3 air purifiers from different manufacturers (A, B, C), and the lung was examined for DNA damage, lipid peroxidation and histopathology to confirm the safety of these air purifiers. Neither abnormal behavior during exposure nor gross abnormality at necropsy was observed. No histopathological changes were also observed in the lung. However, significant increase of DNA damage was detected by the comet assay in the lung immediately after the direct exposure for 48 hr to models A and B, and for 16 hr to model B. As for model B, DNA migration was also increased by 2 hr exposure in a 1 m3 plastic chamber but not by 48 hr exposure in a room (12.6 m3). Model C did not cause DNA damage. Lipid peroxidation and 8-hydroxy deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) was not increased under the conditions DNA damage was detected by the comet assay. The present results revealed that some models of air purifiers that diffuse ROS potentially cause DNA damage in the lung although the mechanism was left unsolved.
To investigate the invivo effects of cobalt chloride on gene expression at early time points, DNA microarray analysis was performed on the liver of mice injected subcutaneously with cobalt chloride. The liver tissue samples were taken 0.5, 1, and 3 hr after injection. Of the 14 genes up-regulated at 0.5 hr after injection, 7 are related to immunological responses, and 4 of the 7 were found to be involved in the activation of interferon.
Methylmercury is an environmental pollutant that causes severe central nervous system disorders. We searched for transcription factors involved in the development of methylmercury toxicity and found that the decreased expression of a homeobox protein, HOXB13, in HEK293 cells conferred strong resistance to methylmercury.
To elucidate mechanisms of arsenic toxicity and biological defense mechanisms against arsenic, we searched for genes that, when overexpressed, conferred arsenite resistance on yeast. Employing a Saccharomyces cerevisiae open reading frame (ORF) library, four genes associated with arsenite resistance, FAP7, MIG3, TMA19, and YLR392c, were identified.
Methylmercury is a well-known environmental pollutant that causes serious disorders of the central nervous system as well as a range of other symptoms. We employed small interfering RNA (siRNA) to search for factors in ligand-dependent signal transduction pathways that may be involved in the development of methylmercury toxicity. Melanocortin 2 receptor accessory protein 2 (MRAP2) is involved in the melanocortin pathway. Using siRNA, we found that decreased expression of MRAP2 conferred strong methylmercury resistance in HEK293 cells.