The effect of subchronic exposure of S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine (DCVC), an active metabolite of trichloroethylene (TCE), was investigated in mice, as a part of mechanistic assessment of renal toxicity of TCE. To examine the subchronic effects of DCVC on kidney function, Balb/c male mice were administered DCVC orally and intraperitoneally once a week for 13 weeks at 1, 10 and 30 mg/kg (Main Study) and for 8 weeks at 30 mg/kg (PCR Study). At the terminal sacrifice, mice orally and intraperitoneally administered with 10 and 30 mg/kg showed significantly lower kidney weight and significantly higher blood urea nitrogen levels than the control group. Pathological examination revealed that a dose of 30 mg/kg delivered by both routes resulted in renal tubular degeneration characterized by tubular necrosis and interstitial fibrosis, and in degradation of the cortex. Degenerative changes were accompanied by the increased expression of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6 and cyclooxygenase-2 mRNAs in the kidney of mice treated with 30 mg/kg for 8 weeks. These pathohistological observations mostly corresponded to those in short-term toxicity studies on DCVC. DCVC might be a direct cause of renal toxicity, which is suggested from the aggravation in these symptoms with the dose increase.
The concern over endocrine disruptors prompted international establishment of a strategic framework for the identification of the estrogenic compounds. OECD has launched the Conceptual Framework tool box containing various screening and testing methods including the uterotrophic assay. The (anti)estrogenicity of 36 chemicals suspected to be estrogen-receptor interactive by in silico and/or in vitro screening in the Extended Scheme for Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, were monitored by the uterotrophic assay using C57BL/6J ovariectomized adult female mice after a 7-day exposure by oral gavage (po) and subcutaneous injection (sc). Ethynyl estradiol was used as reference for agonist and antagonist detection. In addition, Bisphenol A (sc) and Genistein (po) were tested for the comparison to rat assays. Among the 36, 2-[Bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)methyl]benzylalcohol, 2,2’,4,4’-Tetrahydroxybenzophenone, 2,4-Dihydroxybenzophenone, 3,3’,5-Triiodothyroacetic acid, New fuchsin and alpha-Naphtholbenzein, showed both estrogenic agonistic and antagonistic activities; first two showed U-shaped dose-response in antagonistic studies. N,N-Diphenyl-p-phenylenediamine, 2,2’-Dihydroxy-4,4’-dimethoxybenzophenone, n-Butyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, and Reserpine were agonistic by sc. Benzo [a] pyrene, Benz [a] anthracene, Dibenz [a,h] anthracene, 2-(2H-Benzotriazol-2-yl)-4,6-di(t-pentyl)phenol, Rosemarinic acid, meta-Thymol, 6-Gingerol, Colchicine, Malachite green base, Fenbuconazole, and Lead acetate were antagonistic. The rest, i.e. n-Heptyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, Tetrazolium violet, Pravastatin sodium salt, Physostigmine, salicylate (1:1), Nordihydroguaiaretic acid, o-Cresolphthalein, 1,3-Dinitrobenzene, C.I. Pigment orange, Tetrabromobisphenol-A, 2-Hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone, Ethylparaben, Propyl p-hydroxybenzoate, Kaempferol, 2-(2-Benzotriazolyl)-p-cresol and Phenolphthalein were negative for both effects. Taking together with in silico/ in vitro screening, the result suggested that the ovariectomized mouse uterotrophic bioassay has sufficient performance comparable to rat for the screening of (anti)estrogenicity of various chemicals.
While metabolic activation of naphthalene, yielding 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ) and 1,4-NQ that can covalently bind to cellular proteins, has been recognized to be associated with its toxicity, the current consensus is that such electrophile-mediated covalent modification of sensor proteins with thiolate ions is also involved in activation of cellular signal transduction pathways for cellular protection against reactive materials. In the present study, we developed an immunochemical assay to detect cellular proteins adducted by 1,4-NQ. Dot blot analysis indicated that the antibody prepared against 1,4-NQ recognized the naphthalene moiety with the para-dicarbonyl group, rather than with the ortho-dicarbonyl group. Furthermore, little cross-reactivity of para-quinones with either a different number of aromatic rings (n = 1) or substituent groups was observed. With this specific antibody against 1,4-NQ, we identified nine target proteins of 1,4-NQ following exposure of human epithelial carcinoma cell line A431 to 1,4-NQ. Among them, heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) and HSP70 are of interest because covalent modification of these chaperones causes activation of heat shock factor-1, which plays a role in the cellular response against electrophiles such as 1,4-NQ. Thus, our method, which does not use radiolabeled compounds, would be applicable for exploring activation of electrophilic signal transduction pathways coupled to covalent modification of sensor proteins during exposure to naphthalene as well as 1,4-NQ.
Our group of studies investigated the action of butane-2,3-dione thiosemicarbazone oxime against the testicular damage caused by cadmium chloride (CdCl2) in mice. Mice received a single injection of CdCl2 (5 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) and, after thirty minutes, the oxime (10 mg/kg, subcutaneously) was administered. Twenty four hours after the last administration, the animals were killed by cervical dislocation and the testes and serum were removed for analysis. The parameters determined were δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase (δ-ALA-D), myeloperoxidase (MPO), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities. The levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), nonprotein thiols (NPSH), ascorbic acid, cadmium and testosterone were also determined. In addition, histological analysis and cytokines quantification (IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α and IFN-γ) were performed. Our results demonstrated that the oxime was effective in restoring the inhibition in δ-ALA-D activity induced by CdCl2. The activation of MPO and increase in IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ levels induced by CdCl2 were also reduced by oxime. IL-10, which was reduced by cadmium, was restored by oxime administration. In addition, the oxime was effective in restoring the increase in TBARS levels and the reduction on NPSH levels induced by CdCl2. Our results demonstrated that oxime was effective in containing the histological alterations induced by CdCl2. In addition, oxime was able to increase the testosterone levels, reduced by cadmium exposure. In conclusion, the oxime tested was effective in reducing the testicular damage induced by CdCl2 in mice. The beneficial effects of this oxime are related to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.
Acetaminophen (APAP) is a commonly used and effective analgesic and antipyretic agent. However, some patients encounter hepatotoxicity after repeated APAP dosing at therapeutic doses. In the present study, we focused on the nutritional state as one of the risk factors of APAP-induced chronic hepatotoxicity in humans and investigated the contribution of undernourishment to susceptibility to APAP-induced chronic hepatotoxicity using an animal model mimicking undernourished patients. Rats were divided into 2 groups: the ad libitum fed (ALF) and the restricted fed (RF) rats and were assigned to 3 groups (n = 8/group) for each feeding condition. The animals were given APAP at 0, 300 and 500 mg/kg for 99 days under each feeding condition. Plasma and urinary glutathione-related metabolites and liver function parameters were measured during the dosing period and hepatic glutathione levels were measured at the end of the dosing period. In the APAP-treated ALF rats hepatic glutathione levels were increased and hepatic function parameters were not changed, but in the APAP-treated RF rats hepatic glutathione levels were decreased at 500 mg/kg and hepatic function parameters were increased at 300 and 500 mg/kg. Moreover the urinary endogenous metabolite profile after long-term treatment with APAP in the ALF and RF rats was similar to that in human non-responders and responders to APAP-induced chronic hepatotoxicity, respectively. In conclusion, the RF rats were more sensitive to APAP-induced chronic hepatotoxicity than the ALF rats and were considered to be a useful model to estimate the contribution of the nutritional state of patients to APAP-induced chronic hepatotoxicity.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation that starts with steatosis and progresses to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Recently, the number of patients with such liver diseases has increased, but the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms and appropriate therapies are lacking. Tamoxifen (TAM) is a selective estrogen receptor modulator. We previously reported that TAM plays a protective role against drug-induced and chemical-induced acute liver injuries. However, the effects of TAM on chronic liver injury, including steatosis and NASH, remain to be addressed. We first found that the administration of TAM to mouse models of steatosis and NASH significantly decreased the plasma ALT and AST levels. The administration of TAM decreased the accumulated fat and inflammation in the livers in both mouse models. In addition, we observed decreased hepatic mRNA levels of triglyceride synthesis, acyl-CoA: diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2), proinflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, and chemokines, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP) -1. TAM increased the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, which is related to the proliferation and regeneration of liver and to decreased DGAT2 gene expression. Furthermore, a decrease in eukaryotic translational initiation factor (eIF2α), which is involved in apoptosis, was observed in both models. These findings suggest that TAM treatment exerts a hepatoprotective effect against steatosis and NASH, presumably via up-regulation of the ERK pathways and attenuation of eIF2α activation. These pathways represent a potential therapeutic target for steatosis and NASH in drug development.
The Pig-a gene mutation assay using perpherial blood erythrocytes is being investigated as a screening tool for assessing mutagenicity in vivo. In this study, we evaluated two distinct approaches for performing the Pig-a assay in rats. We used antibodies to CD45 or the erythroid marker HIS49 to identify red blood cells (RBCs), and then monitored the kinetics of Pig-a mutant frequency, as measured by the frequency of CD59-deficient RBCs, in rats treated with the genotoxic chemicals, N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea, cyclophosphamide, 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide, and ethylmethanesulfonate. In some instances, micronucleus frequency also was measured in the same animals. Time- and dose-related increases in Pig-a mutant frequency were found in all the chemical-treated groups, except for the groups treated with cyclophosphamide, which was a potent inducer of micronuclei. The two different approaches we employed were comparable for measuring induced mutant frequencies, but our historical data showed that the mean background frequencies for the CD45/CD59 method and the HIS49/CD59 method were 12.7 × 10-6 and 5.5 ×10-6, respectively. The relatively low, stable background mutant frequency associated with the HIS49/CD59 method indicates that it may have greater power for discriminating weak induced responses. These results suggest that the HIS49/CD59 method is a promising tool for measuring Pig-a mutant RBCs. In addition, differences in their manifestation kinetics and in their relative sensitivity for detecting different test compounds suggest that the combination of the Pig-a assay and the micronucleus assay may be effective in identifying in vivo genotoxicity.
Anaemia is a significant prognostic factor in cancer patients receiving anticancer drugs such as methotrexate (MTX). This study focuses on the effects of toxicological changes on the hematopoietic systems in male and female Wistar Hannover rats when MTX is orally administered at a dose of 0, 0.05, 0.15, or 0.45 mg/(kg·day) for a period of 28 days. Both male and female rats receiving 0.45 mg/kg MTX showed a decrease in the haemoglobin concentration (Hb), haematocrit, and erythrocyte count. Female rats showed a decrease in mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and an increase in cell mean Hb (CHCM) in total erythrocytes, including the mature erythrocytes. These results indicate that MTX causes the production of small, mature erythrocytes that contain a high concentration of Hb. MTX reduced the number of peripheral reticulocytes but produced the cells with a large size and a high concentration of Hb, as demonstrated by the reticulocyte MCV and CHCM as well as the content of haemoglobin per reticulocyte (CHr). Consistent with these findings, bone marrow haematopoiesis was impaired by MTX, as there was a reduction in erythroid count in rats of both sexes. The number of cells of the myeloid lineage reduced in female rats, followed by a reduction in the total leukocyte and neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. Thrombocytopenia was detected in a small population of rats. These results indicate that MTX induces hyperchromic microcytic anaemia and pancytopenia, and the use of MCV and CHCM in mature erythrocytes and reticulocytes, along with the CHr, gives a better understanding of the development and nature of anaemia.
Omeprazole (OPZ) and β-naphthoflavone (BNF) are cytochrome P450 (CYP)1A inducers and have liver tumor promoting effects. In this study, we investigated the co-promoting and co-initiating effects of OPZ and BNF in rats. In Experiment 1, male rats were subjected to partial hepatectomy (PH), and given oral doses of 138 or 276 mg/kg OPZ, 0.125% or 0.25% BNF or 138 mg/kg OPZ+0.125% BNF (n = 9~12) for 6 weeks after N-diethylnitrosamine (DEN) initiation. In Experiment 2, male rats were treated with oral doses of 138 or 276 mg/kg OPZ, 0.03% or 0.06% BNF or 138 mg/kg OPZ+0.03% BNF (n = 11~12) for 9 days starting 1 week before initiating treatment. As an initiating treatment, 2-Amino-3,4-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinolone (MeIQx) was orally administered 12 hr after PH. The rats were fed a basal diet for 15 days, followed by a diet containing 0.015% 2-acetylaminofluorene for the next 10 days with a single oral dose of carbon tetrachloride. In Experiment 1, the number and area of glutathione S-transferase placental form-positive foci in the OPZ+BNF group were significantly higher than the average values of the High OPZ or the High BNF group. The expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) and COX-2 protein in the liver significantly increased in the OPZ+BNF group. In Experiment 2, liver initiation activity was not enhanced by the co-administration of OPZ+BNF. The results of our studies suggest that the co-administration of OPZ and BNF results in synergistic effects in the liver tumor promotion probably owing to increased COX-2 expression, but no modifying effect in the liver initiation activity of MeIQx in rats.
Decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) is a brominated flame retardant used in many commercial products such as televisions, computers, and textiles. Recent reports indicate that decaBDE adversely affects male reproductive organs in mice, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesized that decaBDE affects mouse testes by altering the expression and phosphorylation level of cortactin (CTTN), an F-actin-binding protein that is similar to flutamide, and we performed western blot analyses on testicular samples from mice subcutaneously injected with decaBDE (0.025, 0.25, and 2.5 mg/kg body weight/day) on postnatal days 1 to 5. Mice treated with low-dose decaBDE (0.025 mg/kg) showed reduced testicular weight, sperm count, elongated spermatid and Sertoli cell numbers, as well as induced Tyr phosphorylation of CTTN and reduced the expression level of p60 Src tyrosine kinase (SRC). Further, 0.25 and 2.5 mg/kg decaBDE-exposed groups produced an decrease the expression level of CTTN. High-dose decaBDE (2.5 mg/kg) showed increased abnormal germ cells, as well as induced Ser phosphorylation of CTTN and activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2); however, high-dose decaBDE did not affect testicular weight and sperm count. These findings suggest that postnatal exposure to low-dose decaBDE inhibits mouse testicular development by increasing Tyr phosphorylation of CTTN, although different mechanisms may be involved depending on the dose of decaBDE.
The goal of the present study was to examine hepatic differential gene expression patterns in Fisher-344 rats in response to dietary 2-aminoanthracene (2AA) ingestion for 14 and 28 days. Twenty four post-weaning 3-4 week old F-344 male rats were exposed to 0 mgkg-1-diet (control), 50 mgkg-1-diet (low dose), 75 mgkg-1-diet (medium dose) and 100 mgkg-1-diet (high dose) 2AA for 14 and 28 days. This was followed by analysis of the liver for global gene expression changes. In both time points, the numbers of genes affected seem to correlate with the dose of 2AA. Sixteen mRNAs were differentially expressed in all treatment groups for the short-term exposure group. Similarly, 51 genes were commonly expressed in all 28-day exposure group. Almost all the genes seem to have higher expression relative to the controls. In contrast, cytochrome P450 family 4, subfamily a, polypeptide 8 (Cyp4a8), and monocyte to macrophage differentiation-associated (Mmd2) were down-regulated relative to controls. Differentially expressed mRNAs were further analyzed for associations via DAVID. GO categories show the effect of 2AA to be linked with genes responsible for carbohydrate utilization and transport, lipid metabolic processes, stress responses such as inflammation and apoptosis processes, immune system response, DNA damage response, cancer processes and circadian rhythm. The data from the current study identified altered hepatic gene expression profiles that may be associated with carcinoma, autoimmune response, and/or type 2 diabetes. Possible biomarkers due to 2AA toxicity in the liver for future study include Abcb1a, Nhej1, Adam8, Cdkn1a, Mgmt, and Nrcam.
We examined the role of nitrergic, glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic systems in the mechanism(s) underlying lithium induced acute toxicity. With this aim, lithium (18 mEq/kg, i.p.) intoxicated rats were observed for 3 hr recording their clinical signs and death. Lithium exposure at the dose used produced central nervous system (CNS) depression. Pre-treatment of Nw-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) a nonselective nitric oxide synthase inhibitor (10 mg/kg, i.p.), 7-nitroindazole (7-NI) a selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor (25 mg/kg, i.p.), nitric oxide precursor L-arginine (1,000 mg/kg, i.p.) and MK-801 a noncompetitive antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid class of glutamate receptors (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) all increased CNS depression and mortality in lithium group however, no change was seen in GABA receptor agonist GABA (1,000 mg/kg, i.p.) or D-arginine (1,000 mg/kg, i.p.) a biologically inactive enantiomer of L-arginine pre-treated rats. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) enzyme activity was measured in hippocampus, cerebral cortex and cerebellum of the different groups of animals. GAD enzyme activity reduced in cerebral cortex but not altered in hippocampus or cerebellum by lithium as compared to the control (saline) group. We conclude that an interaction with nitrergic and glutamatergic systems may have a role in the acute toxicity of lithium in rats.The inhibition of glutamate metabolism may arise from this interaction and the involvement of GABA-ergic system should be further investigated in this toxicity.
The homozygous mutant fatty Zucker rat (fa/fa) is the prominent model for the research of obesity, one of the most well-known risk factor of postmenopausal mammary cancer. But the usage as a mammary gland carcinogenesis model is considered to be restricted due to the hypoplasia of mammary gland. In the present study, to find the validity of heterozygous mutant (+/fa) lean Zucker rats as a new leptin-related mammary carcinogenesis model, we examined whether the number of terminal end buds of mammary gland, the serum biochemistry, leptin concentration in serum and adipose tissue are changed in 7-week-old female +/+, +/fa and fa/fa rats, and whether these changes and leptin, TNF-α and VEGF mRNA expression in adipose tissue of +/+ and +/fa rats are influenced by 10% corn oil diet for 5 weeks. We confirmed that mild hyperleptinemia was more pronounced in 7-week-old +/fa as compared with wild type (+/+) and hypoplasia of mammary glands characterized by fewer numbers of terminal end buds in fa/fa was not observed in +/fa. With 10% corn oil diet, leptin mRNA expression in adipose tissue showed increasing tendency both in +/fa and +/+. Comparing with +/+, adipose tissue in +/fa treated with 10% corn oil diet was found to be significantly increased in the concentration of leptin protein and tended to be elevated expression of TNF-α mRNA. These results suggest that +/fa with 10% corn oil diet may be a useful model for investigation of the participation of leptin and TNF-α in mammary gland carcinogenesis.
The mechanism of cadmium transport from mother to fetus remains unclear. In this study, we examined the roles of the metal transporters DMT1, ZIP, and ZnT and the metal-binding protein metallothionein in the transport of Cd from mother to fetus in Cd-exposed rats. Cadmium (as CdCl2) was administered to female Wistar rats at doses of 0, 1, 2, or 5 mg Cd/kg/day via gastric tube daily for six consecutive days each week for 7 weeks. The concentration of Cd, Zn, and Cu in the uterus and the placenta were then determined. Uterine and placental expression of genes encoding iso-MTs (I, II, and III) and the metal transporters DMT1, ZIP8, ZIP14, ZnT1, ZnT2 and ZnT4 was determined using real-time PCR. The Cd concentration in the placenta and uterus increased with the Cd dose, while the concentration of Cu decreased. Cadmium accumulation in the uterus and placenta resulted in a increase in MT-II gene expression, suggesting that MT-II prevents Cd transport to the fetus by trapping Cd in the uterus and placenta. Expression of the genes encoding DMT1, ZIP14 and ZnT2 was upregulated in the placenta in a dose-dependent manner. Relatively high expression level of the ZnT4 gene than the other ZnT genes (ZnT1 and ZnT2) was observed in the uterus and the placenta. Our results suggest that in the placenta the metal transporters DMT1 and ZIP14 involved in the uptake of Cd into the cytosol.
Treatment of the mouse leukemic cell line RAW 264 with bafilomycin A1 or concanamycin A, inhibitors of vacuolar-type (H+)-ATPases (V-ATPases), significantly increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased cell viability. These effects were significantly suppressed by the presence of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an ROS scavenger. si-RNA mediated knockdown of the gene for the c subunit of the V0 domain of V-ATPase also resulted in an increase in ROS production and a decrease in cell viability. These results suggest that decreased cellular V-ATPase activity decreases cell viability by increasing ROS production in RAW 264 cells.
The inhibitors of heat shock protein-90 (Hsp90), geldanamycin (GA) and 17-(allylamino)-17-desmethoxygeldanamycin, show various cellular effects including destabilization of Hsp90 clients and expression of other chaperones, etc. and modulate cytotoxicity depending on cell types and stimuli. In this study, we investigated the effects of Hsp90 inhibitors on survival of PC12 cells with and without cytotoxic stimuli including orthovanadate, Na3VO4. Treatment with Hsp90 inhibitors at 2 µM for 16 hr did not cause cell detachment and leakage of lactate dehydrogenase, and at concentrations greater than 5 µM resulted in cytotoxicity. The inhibitors at 2 µM enhanced the cytotoxicity of 1 mM Na3VO4, and did not protect PC12 cells at any concentrations against Na3VO4. Next, the effects of Hsp90 inhibitors on the intracellular metabolism of ceramide and arachidonic acid (AA) were examined, since these processes also regulate cytotoxicity. In cells treated with 4-nitrobenzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazole (NBD)-labeled C6-ceramide, Hsp90 inhibitors reduced the formation of NBD-glucosylceramide and Na3VO4-induced formation of NBD-caproic acid, a counterpart of sphingosine, without affecting other metabolites including NBD-sphingomyelin. GA treatment did not change the amounts of AA released in PC12 cells with and without Na3VO4. In HeLa cells, however, GA treatment decreased the release of AA via cytosolic phospholipase A2α’s activation probably because of dysfunctional Hsp90 clients. Our results suggest the possible involvement of ceramide metabolism, not AA release, in GA-induced cytotoxicity in PC12 cells.
An appropriate balance between lipophilicity and hydrophilicity is necessary for pharmaceuticals to achieve fine Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) properties including absorption and distribution, in particular. We have designed and proposed symmetrically branched oligoglycerols (BGL) as an alternative approach to improve the lipophilic-hydrophilic balance. We have previously shown that stability in circulation and water-solubility of such molecules as proteins, liposomes and hydrophobic compounds are much improved by conjugation to BGL. Albeit these successful applications of BGL, little was known whether BGL could be used in safety. Thus we conducted evaluation of the cytotoxicity of a representative BGL, symmetrically branched glycerol trimer (BGL003) in the cultured cells to clarify its biological safeness. Here we demonstrate that water-solubility of an extremely hydrophobic agent, fenofibrate was more than 2,000-fold improved just by conjugated with BGL003. BGL003 did not exhibit any significant cytotoxicity in human hepatocarcinoma HepG2 cells. Thus BGL003 should be safe and suitable strategy to endow hydrophobic molecules with much hydrophilicity.
Dihydropyrazines (DHPs), formed by nonenzymatic glycation, are known to exert various effects in vitro and in vivo, such as generation of radical species, DNA strand breakage, enzyme inhibition, and inhibition of bacterial growth. However, their effects on mammalian cells remain elusive. To address this issue, we investigated the effects of a range of DHP concentrations on human hepatoma HepG2 cells using 2,3-dihydro-5,6-dimethylpyrazine (DHP-1), 2,3-dihydro-2,5,6-trimethylpyrazine (DHP-2), and 3-hydro-2,2,5,6-tetramethylpyrazine (DHP-3) as model compounds. All of the tested compounds exerted cytotoxic activity against HepG2 cells in the range of 10 µM-1 mM, and significantly so at the highest concentration. DHP-3 was the most effective drug, and it also caused a significant decrease in the ratio of intracellular reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG). In addition, the cytotoxic effect of DHP-3, but not DHP-1 and DHP-2, was enhanced by the inhibition of GSH biosynthesis using 100 µM l-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO). From these results, it is suggested that the mechanisms of cytotoxicity exerted by DHP-3 are distinct from those exerted DHP-1 and DHP-2. In addition, it is possible that the disruption of intracellular glutathione balance induced by DHP-3 is related to its effect on HepG2 cells.
We previously reported that social isolation stimulated a stress response leading to increasing plasma corticosterone level and disruption of the hepatic lipid metabolism-related pathway, without changing body and organ weights, in mice after 4 weeks of social isolation stress, compared with the grouped-housing control (5 mice/cage). In this study, we evaluated the effects of social isolation stress for an extended period on physiologic changes in male C57BL/6J mice. Plasma corticosterone was reduced after 13 weeks, indicating mice might adapt to social isolation stress. However, body and visceral fat weights were significantly increased in combination with hepatic hypertrophy, and significant decreases in levels of triglyceride and adiponectin in plasma were observed. In conclusion, it is tempting to speculate that mice exposed to social isolation stress for 13 continuous weeks could be at an increased risk of overweight with hepatic hypertrophy. Our results also imply that physiological changes, at least fatty acid metabolism, under stress exposure might be an important factor when evaluating the chronic effects of environmental chemicals.
A major product formed during the Maillard reaction is 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural (HMF), which is present in various foods and beverages such as honey and fruit juice. HMF was shown to be a hepatocarcinogen in female mice using long-term bioassays. Although HMF is not a mutagen in conventional in vitro mutation assays, 5-sulfoxymethylfurfural (SMF), a reactive metabolite of HMF produced following sulfotransferase conjugation, does show mutagenicity. Thus, HMF-induced hepatocarcinogenesis likely involves genotoxic mechanisms. To clarify the mechanisms underlying HMF-induced hepatocarcinogenesis, female B6C3F1gpt delta mice were given HMF at carcinogenic doses (188 or 375 mg/kg b.w.) by gavage for 5 days per week for 4 weeks. This treatment produced no significant differences in mutant frequencies (MFs) of gpt and red/gam (Spi-) genes among the groups. These results suggest that genotoxicity does not contribute to HMF-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Parameters related to cell proliferation, such as proliferation cell nuclear antigen-labeling index and Cyclin D1 and E1 mRNA expression, exhibited no significant changes in the livers of HMF-treated groups. In view of the lack of carcinogenicity in rats, HMF may be considered to be a weak carcinogen. These results help us to understand the underlying mechanisms of action of HMF carcinogenesis.
Various experimental and clinical studies strongly support a cigarette smoke-heart disease association and suggest possible mechanisms, unfortunately, the involvement of genetic modulations remain unexplored. Thus, the main aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects of sub-chronic cigarette smoke exposure on the mRNA expression of cardiac hypertrophy genes, cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, and the oxidative stress markers in heart rats. For this purpose, Wistar albino rats were exposed to increasing doses of passive cigarette smoke 2, 4, 8, and 24 cigarettes per day for 7 consecutive days. The mRNA expression of fifteen cardiac genes was determined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Our results showed that the levels of hypertrophic genes; atrial natriuretic peptide, brain natriuretic peptide, and β-myosin heavy chain were significantly induced, whereas the anti-hypertrophic gene α-myosin heavy chain was dramatically inhibited, in heart tissues of passive-smoke-exposed groups compared with normal-control groups. This was accompanied with a significant induction of CYP enzymes; CYP1A1, CYP2C11, CYP2E1, and CYP3A2, and the expression of oxidative stress genes, heme oxygenase 1, catalase, cyclooxygenase, and glutathione S-Transferase. The ability of cigarette smoke to induce cardiac hypertrophic genes, CYPs enzymes, and oxidative stress, collectively explore the molecular mechanism of cigarette smoke-induced cardiac diseases and brings further investigative attention to the public health issue of the injurious effects of chronic passive smoke exposure. In conclusion, sub-chronic environmental tobacco smoke exposure increases the incidence of cardiovascular diseases through modulation of cardiac genes.