Proparacaine is a widely used topical anesthetic in ophthalmic optometry and surgery, and has been reported to have cytotoxic effects on rabbit corneal endothelial cells after prolonged and repeated usage. Since rabbit is an exceptive mammal whose corneal endothelial cells still maintaining proliferation abilities even in adulthood, whether proparacaine has cytotoxic effects on human corneal endothelial (HCE) cells need to be further verified. Our objectives in the present study were to investigate the cytotoxicity to HCE cells of proparacaine and its underlying mechanisms in vitro and verify the cytotoxicity using cat corneal endothelial (CCE) cells in an in vivo model of cat corneas. Cytotoxic evaluation results indicated that a dose- and time-dependent toxic response of HCE cells to proparacaine over 0.03125% was rated based on morphology and viability, and a toxic response of CCE cells to 0.5% (clinical applied dosage) proparacaine was also rated based on cell density and histology. Importantly, treatment with proparacaine resulted in significant elevation of plasma membrane permeability, cell cycle arrest at S phase, fragmentation of genomic DNA, formation of apoptotic bodies, and externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS) of HCE cells. Moreover, proparacaine demonstrated disrupting effects on mitochondrial transmembrane potential (MTP) of HCE cells and activating effects on caspase-3, -8 and -9. This study demonstrates that proparacaine has notable cytotoxicity to both HCE cells in vitro and CCE cells in vivo, and its dose- and time-dependent cytotoxicity to HCE cells is achieved by inducing apoptosis via a mitochondrion-mediated caspase-dependent pathway. These findings provide new insights into the cytotoxicity and apoptosis-inducing effect of local anesthetics which should be used with great caution in the eye clinic.
Atrazine (ATR) is a widely used herbicide, although it is potentially ecotoxic. Increasing evidence indicates that ATR plays a critical role in inducing physiological changes to the endocrine and reproductive systems, and further may affect the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system in the diencephalon, resulting in altered dopamine (DA) levels in the striatum, transport and storage-related protein abnormalities in the synaptic terminals, motor function deficits, and degeneration of DA neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). As the primary immunocytes in the central nervous system (CNS), microglial function to maintain the CNS microenvironment by preventing damage to healthy cells as well by regulating inflammatory responses. Several studies have demonstrated that microglial activation exerted an important effect on neuronal degeneration. In order to investigate dynamic changes of the microglial phenotype in the SN, rats received consecutive intraperitoneal injections of a vehicle or ATR at 25, 50, or 100 mg/kg body weight for a 14-day period and were then sacrificed at 1, 4, 7, or 14 days post-treatment, respectively. Here, we found that microglial activation by changes to phenotype emerged later in the low ATR exposure group than in the medium and high ATR exposure groups, and proliferating microglia were observed as well. Moreover, as two major inflammatory cytokines, expression of tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin-1β, emerged earlier post-ATR exposure, and a significant upregulation was observed in the medium and high ATR exposure groups. These results suggested that inflammatory reactions regulated by microglia occurred in a dose- and time-dependent manner, which may explain the severe DA neuron degeneration with the phagocytic phenotype of microglia in the SN that emerged earlier in the medium and high ATR exposure groups than in the low ATR exposure group. Taken together, our findings suggest that microglial activation might be involved in the dose- and time-dependent ATR-induced DA neuron degeneration in the SN.
Cisplatin is one of the most effective chemotherapeutic agents against various types of cancers; however, it is also associated with nephrotoxicity. Recently, it was reported that inflammatory mechanisms play a key role in the development of nephrotoxicity. Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) have an anti-inflammatory effect and are metabolized by soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH: encoded by EPHX2 gene). Here, we determined the change in sEH activity and EPHX2 expression in renal tissue associated with the development of cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity. Cisplatin administration decreased hydrolase activity accompanied by down-regulation of sEH and EPHX2 expression. The down-regulation occurred prior to the elevation of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) gene expression or at treatment with low dose cisplatin. In addition, a negative correlation was found between EPHX2 expression and renal thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS), and edaravone, a radical scavenger, administration did not down-regulate expression of this gene. The results of this study suggest that cisplatin decreased sEH activity through the down-regulation of sEH and EPHX2 expression, and this down-regulation was involved in a negative feedback loop to protect renal tissue from further damage. Thus, sEH is a potential therapeutic target of cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity.
Tributyltin (TBT) is an organotin used as an anti-fouling agent for fishing nets and ships and it is a widespread environmental contaminant at present. There is an increasing concern about imperceptible but serious adverse effect(s) of exposure to chemicals existing in the environment on various organs and their physiological functions, e.g. brain and mental function. Here, so as to contribute to improvement of and/or advances in in vitro cell-based assay systems for evaluating brain-targeted adverse effect of chemicals, we tried to evaluate cell-type-specific and differentiation-status-dependent variations in the cytotoxicity of TBT towards neurons and astrocytes using the four culture systems differing in the relative abundance of these two types of cells; primary neuron culture (> 95% neurons), primary neuron-astrocyte (2 : 1) mix culture, primary astrocyte culture (> 95% astrocytes), and passaged astrocyte culture (100% proliferative astrocytes). Cell viability was measured at 48 hr after exposure to TBT in serum-free medium. IC50’s of TBT were 198 nM in primary neuron culture, 288 nM in primary neuron-astrocyte mix culture, 2001 nM in primary astrocyte culture, and 1989 nM in passaged astrocyte culture. Furthermore, in primary neuron-astrocyte mix culture, vulnerability of neurons cultured along with astrocytes to TBT toxicity was lower than that of neurons cultured purely in primary neuron culture. On the other hand, astrocytes in primary neuron-astrocyte mix culture were considered to be more vulnerable to TBT than those in primary or passaged astrocyte culture. The present study demonstrated variable cytotoxicity of TBT in neural cells depending on the culture condition.
This study investigated the protective effect of alpha-lipoic acid (LA) on cadmium (Cd)-induced hepatotoxicity in BRL 3A rat liver cells. We demonstrated that LA ameliorated Cd-induced cellular injury in cell viability and nuclear fragmentation in BRL 3A cells. Furthermore, LA markedly ameliorated Cd-induced gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) inhibition and Cx43 mRNA expression decrease, as well as disassembly of gap junctions. The gap junction blocker carbenoxolone disodium (CBX) as well as LA protected healthy cells from Cd-exposed cells in Transwellco-culture system. LA also protected BRL 3A cells against Cd-induced elevation of the intracellular concentration of free calcium ([Ca2+]i). Pretreatment with a chelater of intracellular Ca2+ BAPTA-AM or chelater of extracellular Ca2+ EGTA attenuated Cd-induced cytotoxicity and GJIC inhibition. CBX exacerbated the decrease in cell viability and further elevated the increase in [Ca2+]i induced by Cd, whereas BAPTA-AM partly attenuated these phenomena, while EGTA had little effects. These results suggested that Cd-induced hepatotoxicity via GJIC inhibition and [Ca2+]i elevation, which originates mainly from intracellular stores. GJIC inhibition has dual effects: (i) it restricts release of Ca2+ from the cell, which exacerbates the [Ca2+]i elevation and cytotoxicity induced by Cd; and (ii) it protects healthy cells from their dangerous neighbors by blocking intercellular communication. Above all, our results indicated that LA partly prevented Cd-induced cytotoxicity via GJIC and calcium signaling in BRL 3A rat liver cells.
To examine the validity of a newly established “three-odor detection (TOD)” procedure using one of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), limonene, food-restricted male mice were used. Five animals each were assigned to either TOD or single-odor detection (SOD). TOD was composed of two trainings and one test (TEST) session. Mice were trained to discriminate an odor of coffee from no odor and odors of coffee and cheese from no odor in trainings 1 and 2, respectively. In TEST, mice were required to discriminate odors of coffee, cheese, and limonene from no odor. In SOD, mice were required to discriminate an odor of limonene from no odor. Each training or test was conducted once a day until animals achieved a learning criterion (75% correct response rate for 2 consecutive days), or until a maximum number of sessions (20 sessions) was completed. The number of sessions for reaching the learning criterion of animals in TEST (8.2 ± 0.8) was smaller than that of animals in SOD (19.2 ± 0.8). Results indicated that mice in TOD detected low levels of VOCs more rapidly than animals in SOD. I concluded that TOD is a useful procedure for detecting low levels of VOCs.
To reveal the toxicological effects of the hepatotoxic microcystin-leucine arginine (MC-LR) on gut microbial community composition in different gut regions, we conducted a subchronic exposure of BALB/c mice to MC-LR via intragastric administration. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was employed to profile the shifts of microbes after MC-LR treatment in the jejuno-ileum, caecum and colon. DGGE profiles analysis showed that MC-LR increased the microbial species richness (number of microbial bands) in the caecum and colon as well as microbial diversity (Shannon-Wiener index) in the caecum. The cluster analysis of DGGE profiles indicated that the microbial structures in the caecum and colon shifted significantly after MC-LR treatment, while that in the jejuno-ileum did not. All the relatively decreased gut microbes belonged to Clostridia in the Firmicutes phylum, and most of them were Lachnospiraceae. The increased ones derived from a variety of microbes including species from Porphyromonadaceae and Prevotellaceae in the Bacteroidetes phylum, as well as Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae in the Firmicutes phylum, and among which, the increase of Barnesiella in Porphyromonadaceae was most remarkable. In conclusion, subchronic exposure to MC-LR could disturb the balance of gut microbes in mice, and its toxicological effects varied between the jejuno-ileum and the other two gut regions.
Dihydropyrazines (DHPs) are glycation intermediates generated both in vivo and in food. DHPs can lead to the formation of a variety of different radical species, which can lead to DNA damage and enzyme inhibition. In addition, the presence of DHPs can lead to a decrease in cellular glutathione (GSH) levels, and induce the expression of antioxidant genes. In this study, the products resulting from the reaction of DHP with GSH have been analyzed in detail, with some of the products being separated by reversed-phase HPLC. The structures of the isolated DHP-GSH adducts were determined by FAB-MS and NMR analyses. These data suggested that the reaction of DHP with a thiol moiety could be involved in oxidative stress, because an increase in the amount of DHP-GSH adducts would result in a decrease in the cellular GSH levels.
Identification of substances with specific toxicity for carcinoma cells promises to facilitate the development of cancer chemotherapeutics that cause minimal side effects. Here, we show that knockdown of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) effectively suppresses the proliferation of human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines HepG2 and HLE accompanied by elevated expression of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p16/INK4a and p21/Cip1 proteins. On the other hand, the growth of the primary human hepatocyte-derived cell line Fa2N-4 is not affected by the treatment with FXR siRNA irrespective of marked increases in the mRNAs of p16/INK4a and p21/Cip1. Surprisingly, the expression levels of p16/INK and p21/Cip1 proteins are left unchanged in Fa2N-4 cells that are subjected to the FXR siRNA treatment. Since the expression levels of these CDK inhibitor proteins in FXR-knockdown Fa2N-4 cells were elevated in the presence of proteasomal inhibitor MG132, these CDK inhibitors may be subjected to the proteasomal degradation, thereby counteracting the increased expression of their cognate mRNAs, therefore similar levels of p16 and p21 proteins were observed in control and FXR-knockdown Fa2N-4 cells. These results suggest that FXR-knockdown is effective for inhibiting the proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells, not interfering with the regulatory mechanism of normal hepatocyte growth.
We previously reported that hepatic necrosis induced by thioacetamide (TA), a hepatotoxicant, was attenuated in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD mice) in comparison with mice fed a normal rodent diet (ND mice). In this study, we focused on investigation of the mechanism of the attenuation. Hepatic content of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), an oxidative stress marker, significantly increased in ND mice at 24 and 48 hr after TA administration in comparison to that in vehicle-treated ND mice. At these time points, severe hepatic necrosis was observed in ND mice. Treatment with an established antioxidant, butylated hydroxyanisole, attenuated the TA-induced hepatic necrosis in ND mice. In contrast, in HFD mice, hepatic TBARS content did not increase, and hepatic necrosis was attenuated in comparison with ND mice at 24 and 48 hr after TA dosing. Metabolomics analysis regarding hepatic glutathione, a biological antioxidant, revealed decreased glutathione and changes in the amount of glutathione metabolism-related metabolites, such as increased ophtalmate and decreased cysteine, and this indicated activation of glutathione synthesis and usage in HFD mice. Finally, after treatment with L-buthionine-S,R-sulfoxinine, an inhibitor of glutathione synthesis, TA-induced hepatic necrosis was enhanced and hepatic TBARS contents increased after TA dosing in HFD mice. These results suggested that activated synthesis and usage of hepatic GSH, which suppresses hepatic oxidative stress, is one of the factors that attenuate TA-induced hepatic necrosis in HFD mice.
It is crucial to evaluate the variations in the toxicity parameters in experimental animals during the development of new drugs. Reduced food intake has been reported to have an impact on the toxicity parameters in rats; however, there are few reports of such studies in dogs. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of reduced food intake on the general toxicity parameters and their reversibility in dogs. Male beagle dogs were fed 300 g/day of diet for 12 weeks in the control group, and 150 g/day for the first 8 weeks and 200 g/day for the subsequent 4 weeks in the low feeding group. During the following 4-week recovery period, the amount of feeding was set at 300 g/day. There were no clinical changes in any of the dogs. The low feeding group showed a body weight loss of 9.0%, 16.7% and 14.3% relative to the pre-test values at Week 4, 8 and 12, respectively. The following changes from the pre-test values and/or the control group in the examined parameters were observed in this group: decreased heart rate, prolonged PR interval on the ECG, decreased leukocyte count, and increased serum free fatty acid and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase levels. Significant changes of these parameters were not observed any more during the recovery period. This fact supports biological or physiological reaction to reduced food intake. These results are considered to represent useful information for toxicologists to distinguish between the direct effects of drugs and the changes attributable to reduced food intake.
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