The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been increasingly explored in pharmaceutical research as a promising alternative model for toxicological screens. This necessitates a thorough knowledge on the biotransformation processes for a correct interpretation of pharmacological and toxicological data. Physiologically, cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, specifically CYP families 1-3, play a pivotal role in drug metabolism. And yet, information regarding activity of CYP, its isoforms, and conjugation enzymes in zebrafish is either scarce or conflicting. To account for this discrepancy, the available spatiotemporal, modulation and activity data on zebrafish CYP 1-3 families are reviewed in this paper and compared with human CYP data. The CYP genetic features and synteny are well characterized, as is their expression in different organ systems. Moreover, several substrates metabolized by humans also show metabolism in zebrafish, with other CYP isoforms possibly involved. Altogether, the five CYP1 members, 41 CYP2 members and five CYP3 members in zebrafish show distinct evolutionary and orthological similarities with humans.
To identify the sheep red blood cell (SRBC) surface immune-responsive peptides, immuno-reactive fraction of SRBC was detected by SDS-PAGE and western blot analysis with antisera from SRBC-immunized rats. Then the most intense immuno-reactive band on SDS-PAGE was subjected to nanoLC-ESI-MS/MS analysis, and 17 proteins were identified including membrane proteins of erythrocytes such as band 3 anion transport protein isoform 1 (Anion exchange protein 1; AE-1, CD233), Ammonium transporter Rh type A (Rh type A glycoprotein, CD241) and Ankyrin-1 (ANK-1), Spectrin beta chain. Among them, plasma protein AE-1 (CD233) and Rh type A glycoprotein (CD241) have transmembrane domain and correspond to extracellular region in their sequences. These extracellular regions of the plasma membrane proteins are supposed to be major immune-responsive peptides of SRBC in rats. These peptides are promising for the construction of an ELISA system which does not require the processing of SRBC membrane ghosts.
Didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC), an antimicrobial agent, has been reported to induce pulmonary toxicity in animal studies. DDAC is frequently used in spray-form household products in combination with ethylene glycol (EG). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the toxic interaction between DDAC and EG in the lung. DDAC at a sub-toxic dose (100 μg/kg body weight) was mixed with a non-toxic dose of EG (100 or 200 μg/kg body weight), and was administrated to rats via intratracheal instillation. Lactate dehydrogenase activity and total protein content in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were not changed by singly treated DDAC or EG, but significantly enhanced at 1 d after treatment with the mixture, with the effect dependent on the dose of EG. Total cell count in BALF was largely increased and polymorphonuclear leukocytes were predominantly recruited to the lung in rats administrated with the mixture. Inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 also appeared to be increased by the mixture of DDAC and EG (200 μg/kg body weight) at 1 d post-exposure, which might be associated with the increase in inflammatory cells in lung. BALF protein content and inflammatory cell recruitment in the lung still remained elevated at 7 d after the administration of DDAC with the higher dose of EG. These results suggest that the combination of DDAC and EG can synergistically induce pulmonary cytotoxicity and inflammation, and EG appears to amplify the harmful effects of DDAC on the lung. Therefore pulmonary exposure to these two chemicals commonly found in commercial products can be a potential hazard to human health.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is an important Fusarium toxin of concern for food safety. The inhalation of powder contaminated with DON is possible and may cause lung toxicity. In this study, we analyzed the gene expression profile of A549 cells treated for 24 hr with 0.2 µg/mL DON by microarray analysis. In total, 16 genes and 5 noncoding RNAs were significantly affected by DON treatment. The repression of B3GALT4, MEIS3, AK7, SEMA3A, KCNMB4, and SCARA5 was confirmed by quantitative PCR. We investigated the DON toxicity on A549 cells that exogenously expressed these 6 genes. The result indicated that A549 cells that transiently expressed MEIS3 were tolerant to the deleterious effects of DON. Our data show that DON affected the expression of genes with various functions, and suggest that the repression of MEIS3 plays roles in the deleterious effect of DON in A549 lung epithelial cells.
Resistant glucan mixture (RGM), a water-soluble dietary fiber produced by the random polymerization of glucose with activated carbon as a catalyst at a high temperature, has been recently developed by our group. There has been little physiological and safety research into RGM and therefore we now present our research into its safety. A reverse mutation assay indicated that RGM is not mutagenic either with or without metabolic activation. We conducted a 90-day subchronic oral toxicity study in rats. Male and female rats fed either a 3% or 5% w/w RGM diet had no muddy or watery stools, and there was no RGM-related death in any group. Although some parameters in the 3% and 5% w/w groups were significantly different from those in the control group, these changes were not due to any toxicity from RGM. The results indicated that the No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) of RGM was 3.3 and 3.9 g/kg body weight (BW) per day in male and female rats, respectively. We then studied the gastrointestinal effects of RGM in healthy adult humans. Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gurgling sounds, flatus and tenesmus, were mild and transient. In men and women, the maximum no-effect dose for diarrhea was more than 0.9 g RGM /kg BW. The results of our current safety assessment studies suggest that RGM is safe for human consumption.
Recent research has revealed a role for Ambra1, an autophagy-related gene-related (ATG) protein, in the autophagic pro-survival response, and Ambra1 has been shown to regulate Beclin1 and Beclin1-dependent autophagy in embryonic stem cells and cancer cells. However, whether Ambra1 plays an important role in the autophagy pathway in ovarian cancer cells is unknown. In this study, we hypothesized that Ambra1 is an important regulator of autophagy and apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. We firstly confirmed autophagic activity in ovarian cancer OVCAR-3 cells which were treated with cisplatin by assessing endogenous microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) localization and the presence of autophagosomes and LC3 protein levels in OVCAR-3 cells. Cell apoptosis and viability were measured by annexin-V and PI staining and MTT assays. We then knocked down Ambra1 expression with transfection with the plasmid expressing the small hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting AMBRA1, then re-evaluated autophagy in the OVCAR-3 cells subject to cisplatin treatment, and re-determined the sensitivity of OVCAR-3 cells to cisplatin. Results demonstrated that cisplatin treatment induced autophagy in OVCAR-3 cells in association with Ambra1 upregulation in the ovarian cancer cells. When Ambra1 expression was reduced by shRNA, the ovarian cancer cells were more sensitive to cisplatin. In conclusion, Ambra1 is a crucial regulator of autophagy and apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells subject to cisplatin to maintain the balance between autophagy and apoptosis. And the Ambra1-targeting inhibition might be an effective method to sensitize ovarian cancer cells to chemotherapy.
Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is commonly used as a chemical inducer of experimental liver injury. Several compounds have been demonstrated to attenuate the hepatic damage caused by sublethal doses of CCl4. However, rescue from lethal toxicity of CCl4 has not been reported. In the present study, we evaluated the protective effect of metallothionein (MT), an endogenous scavenger of free radicals, on CCl4-induced lethal toxicity of mice. To induce MT production in male ddY mice, we administered Zn (as ZnSO4) at 50 mg/kg as a once-daily subcutaneous injection for 3 days prior to a single intraperitoneal administration of 4 g/kg CCl4. Animals were observed for mortality every 3 hr for 24 hr after CCl4 injection. Liver damage was assessed by determining (in a subset of these mice) blood levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT; a marker of liver injury) and liver histopathology at 6 hr after CCl4 injection. Our results showed that three times pretreatment with Zn yielded > 40-fold induction of hepatic MT protein levels compared to control group. Zn pretreatment completely abolished the CCl4-induced mortality of mice. We also found that pretreatment of mice with Zn significantly decreased the ALT levels and reduced the histological liver damage as assessed at 6 hr post-CCl4. These findings suggest that prophylaxis with Zn protects mice from CCl4-induced acute hepatic toxicity and mortality, presumably by induction of radical-scavenging MT.
Cases of mushroom poisoning in Thailand have increased annually. During 2008 to 2014, the cases reported to the National Institute of Health included 57 deaths; at least 15 died after ingestion of amanitas, the most common lethal wild mushrooms inhabited. Hence, the aims of this study were to identify mushroom samples from nine clinically reported cases during the 7-year study period based on nuclear ITS sequence data and diagnose lethal peptide toxins using a reversed phase LC-MS method. Nucleotide similarity was identified using BLAST search of the NCBI database and the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD). Clade characterization was performed by maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic approaches. Based on BLAST and BOLD reference databases our results yielded high nucleotide similarities of poisonous mushroom samples to A. exitialis and A. fuliginea. Detailed phylogenetic analyses showed that all mushroom samples fall into their current classification. Detection of the peptide toxins revealed the presence of amatoxins and phallotoxins in A. exitialis and A. fuliginea. In addition, toxic α-amanitin was identified in a new provisional species, Amanita sp.1, with the highest toxin quantity. Molecular identification confirmed that the mushrooms ingested by the patients were members of the lethal amanitas in the sections Amanita and Phalloideae. In Thailand, the presence of A. exitialis was reported here for the first time and all three poisonous mushroom species provided new and informative data for clinical studies.
Cigarette smoking is known to be associated with various kinds of diseases, including atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Many of the diseases associated with cigarette smoking are also associated with changes in interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression. In this study, we investigated the role of phospholipase D1 (PLD1) in IL-6 expression induced by cigarette smoke extract (CSE). Treatment with CSE increased PLD1 and IL-6 expressions in human bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells. In addition, CSE treatment activated PLC, PKC, and MAPK pathway through the Gi protein-coupled receptor. Pertussis toxin (PTX, Gi protein-coupled receptor inhibitor), PAO (PLC inhibitor), Go6976 (PKC inhibitor) and SB203580 (p38MAPK inhibitor) decreased CSE-induced PLD1 expression. The results show that Gi protein, PLC, PKC, and p38MAPK act as upstream regulators of PLD1 in CSE-treated BEAS-2B cells. Moreover, PLD1 siRNA transfection decreased CSE-induced ATF2 phosphorylation and IL-6 expression. In addition, inhibitors of Gi protein, PLC, PKC, and p38MAPK, and ATF2 siRNA transfection decreased CSE-induced IL-6 expression, suggesting that CSE-induced IL-6 expression is regulated via Gi protein/PLC/PKC/p38MAPK/PLD1/ATF2 pathway. Taken together, the results suggest that PLD1 is an important regulator of IL-6 expression induced by CSE in BEAS-2B cells.
We previously reported that 28-day exposure to hepatocarcinogens that facilitate cell proliferation specifically alters the expression of G1/S checkpoint-related genes and proteins, induces aberrant early expression of ubiquitin D (UBD) at the G2 phase, and increases apoptosis in the rat liver, indicating G1/S and spindle checkpoint dysfunction. The present study aimed to determine the time of onset of carcinogen-specific cell-cycle disruption after repeated administration of renal carcinogens for up to 28 days. Rats were orally administered the renal carcinogens nitrofurantoin (NFT), 1-amino-2,4-dibromoantraquinone (ADAQ), and 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) or the non-carcinogenic renal toxicants 1-chloro-2-propanol, triamterene, and carboxin for 3, 7 or 28 days. Both immunohistochemical single-molecule analysis and real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that carcinogen-specific expression changes were not observed after 28 days of administration. However, the renal carcinogens ADAQ and TCP specifically reduced the number of cells expressing phosphorylated-histone H3 at Ser10 in both UBD+ cells and proliferating cells, suggestive of insufficient UBD expression at the M phase and early transition of proliferating cells from the M phase, without increasing apoptosis, after 28 days of administration. In contrast, NFT, which has marginal carcinogenic potential, did not induce such cellular responses. These results suggest that it may take 28 days to induce spindle checkpoint dysfunction by renal carcinogens; however, induction of apoptosis may not be essential. Thus, induction of spindle checkpoint dysfunction may be dependent on carcinogenic potential of carcinogen examined, and marginal carcinogens may not exert sufficient responses even after 28 days of administration.
Arsenic exposure through drinking water is a major public health problem. It causes a number of toxic effects on skin. Arsenic has been reported to inhibit cell proliferation in in vitro conditions. However, reports about the molecular mechanisms are limited. Here, we investigated the mechanism involved in arsenic acid-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation using mouse skin fibroblast cell line. The present study found that 10 ppm arsenic acid inhibited cell proliferation, without any effect on cell death. Arsenic acid induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in oxidative stress to DNA. It also activated the mammalian Ste20-like protein kinase 1 (MST1); however the serine/threonine kinase Akt was downregulated. Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors are activated through phosphorylation by MST1 under stress conditions. They are inhibited by phosphorylation by Akt through external and internal stimuli. Activation of FOXOs results in their nuclear localization, followed by an increase in transcriptional activity. Our results showed that arsenic induced the nuclear translocation of FOXO1 and FOXO3a, and altered the cell cycle, with cells accumulating at the G2/M phase. These effects caused cellular senescence. Taken together, our results indicate that arsenic acid inhibited cell proliferation through cellular senescence process regulated by MST1-FOXO signaling pathway.
Vidarabine has been used for the treatment of patients with local and systemic herpes virus infection; moreover, it was recently reported that it inhibits cardiac type 5 adenylyl cyclase. Furthermore, vidarabine has been shown to suppress atrial fibrillation and improve congestive heart failure in experimental models of mice induced by the isoproterenol infusion. Since information that can explain its experimentally demonstrated efficacy against congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation remains limited, in this study we precisely assessed cardio-electropharmacological effect using the halothane-anesthetized canine model. Vidarabine was intravenously administrated in three escalating doses of 1, 10, 100 mg/kg over 10 min with a pause between the doses (n = 4). Meanwhile, the vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide in volumes of 0.033, 0.033 and 0.33 mL/kg was intravenously administrated in the same manner as was vidarabine (n = 4). No significant difference was detected in any cardiohemodynamic or electrophysiological variables between the vehicle- and vidarabine-treated groups, which indicates that effective doses of vidarabine adequately inhibiting type 5 adenylyl cyclase did not affect the cardiovascular variables in vivo at all, showing its cardiac safety profile under physiological condition. Thus, the clinical utility of vidarabine might be limited to the pathological situation including congestive heart failure with increased adrenergic tone and/or sympathetic nerve-dependent atrial fibrillation.
Paraphenylene daimine (PPD) is an aromatic amine that is widely used in several industrial products; however, its toxicity has been reported in several cases of cardiac arrests. As platelets play a key role in cardiovascular diseases, we aimed to determine the impact of PPD in vitro and in vivo on platelet function. Our findings demonstrated that platelet activation and aggregation were strongly enhanced by PPD. Treatment with PPD primed human platelets that became more reactive in response to low doses of collagen. Furthermore, PPD exacerbated thrombus formation in rats in comparison with those untreated. Our results suggest that PPD is an important platelet primer predisposing platelets to promote thrombus formation in response to vascular injury. This should prompt the authorities to consider controlling the marketing of this product.
As a part of our studies to develop a cell-based in vitro photosensitization assay, we examined whether changes of cell-surface thiols and amines on human monocytic cell line THP-1 could be used to predict photosensitizing potential of chemicals. First, we identified a suitable ultraviolet A (UV-A) irradiation dose to be 5.0 J/cm2 by investigating the effect of UV-A on the levels of cell-surface thiols and amines in ketoprofen (KP; a representative photoallergen)-treated THP-1 cells. Next, we confirmed that phenol red, a known photoirritant used as a pH indicator in the culture medium, did not affect the KP-induced changes of cell-surface thiols and amines. Using the criterion of more than 15% change of cell-surface thiols and/or amines in response to UV-A irradiation, 22 of 26 known photosensitizers (15 of 18 photoallergens, 7 of 8 photoirritants) were judged positive. Seven of 7 known non-phototoxins did not alter cell-surface thiols or amines. The accuracy for predicting photosensitizers was 87.9% (sensitivity/specificity; 84.6%/100%), and the accuracy for predicting photoallergens was 69.7% (sensitivity/specificity; 83.3%/53.3%). Our results suggest that changes of cell-surface thiols and/or amines may be useful biomarkers for predicting photosensitization potential, including photoallergenicity, of compounds. We designate this test as the photo-SH/NH2 test.
The effects of three kinds of penicillin-based antibiotics, amoxicillin, ampicillin, and piperacillin, on drug-metabolizing activity of human hepatic cytochrome P450 (P450 or CYP) were investigated. Metabolic activities of P450s expressed in recombinant Escherichia coli at substrate concentrations around the Michaelis constant were compared in the presence or absence of the antibiotics. Amoxicillin, ampicillin, and piperacillin at 0.5 or 1 mM concentrations neither inhibited nor stimulated CYP2C9-mediated tolbutamide methylhydroxylation, CYP2D6-mediated dopamine formation from p-tyramine, or CYP3A4- or CYP3A5-mediated testosterone 6β-hydroxylation. However, amoxicillin and piperacillin inhibited CYP2C8-mediated aminopyrine N-demethylation at 50% inhibitory concentration of 0.83 and 1.14 mM, respectively. These results suggest that piperacillin might inhibit CYP2C8 clinically, although the interactions between these three penicillin-based antibiotics and other drugs that are metabolized by P450s investigated would not be clinically significant.
The VECELL 3-D insert is a new culture scaffold consisting of collagen-coated ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) mesh. We analyzed the effects of VECELL 3-D inserts on the functionality of HepG2, a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. HepG2 cells cultured on VECELL 3-D inserts maintained a round shape, while those cultured on a standard culture plate or collagen-coated cell culture plate showed a flattened and cubic epithelial-like shape. HepG2 cells cultured on VECELL 3-D inserts had showed upregulated expression of metallothionein genes and in turn a higher tolerance to toxicity induced by heavy metals. These results suggest that HepG2 cell functions were changed by the cell morphology that is induced by culturing on a VECELL 3-D insert.
Drug-induced phospholipidosis (PLD) is one of the adverse reactions to treatment with cationic amphiphilic drugs. Recently, simple and reliable evaluation methods for PLD have been reported. However, the predictive power of these methods for in vivo PLD induction is insufficient in some cases. To accurately predict PLD, we focused on drug metabolism and used three-dimensional cultures of hepatocytes known as spheroids. Here we used the fluorescent phospholipid dye N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)-1,2-dihexadecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (NBD-PE) to detect PLD induction. After 48 hr exposure to 20 µM amiodarone and amitriptyline, PLD inducers, NBD-PE fluorescence in the spheroids was significantly higher than that in the control. In contrast, 1 mM acetaminophen, as a negative control, did not increase fluorescence. Furthermore, the combination of NBD-PE fluorescence and LysoTracker Red fluorescence and the accumulation of intrinsic phospholipids reflected PLD induction in spheroids. To evaluate metabolic activation, we assessed PLD induction by loratadine. NBD-PE fluorescence intensity was significantly increased by 50 µM loratadine treatment. However, the fluorescence was markedly decreased by co-treatment with 500 µM 1-aminobenzotriazole, a broad cytochrome P450 inhibitor. The formation of desloratadine, a metabolite of loratadine, was observed in spheroids after treatment with loratadine alone. These results showed that metabolic activation is the key factor in PLD induction by treatment with loratadine. We demonstrated that rat primary hepatocyte spheroid culture is a useful model for evaluating drug-induced PLD induction mediated by metabolic activation of the drug using the fluorescence probe technique.
Tripterygium glycosides (TG) are commonly used for basic medicine in curing rheumatoid arthritis but with a high incidence of liver injury. Geniposide (GP) has broad and diverse bioactivities, but until now it is still unknown whether GP can protect against TG-induced liver injury. This study, for the first time, observed the possible protection of GP against TG-induced liver injury in mice and its mechanisms underlying. Oral administration of TG (270 mg/kg) induced significant elevation in the levels of serum alanine / aspartate transaminase (ALT/AST), hepatic malondialdehyde (MDA) and pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) (all P < 0.01). On the other hand, remarkably decreased biomarkers, including hepatic glutathione (GSH) level, activities of glutathione transferase (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), and anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10, were observed following TG exposure (all P < 0.01). Nevertheless, all of these phenotypes were evidently reversed by pre-administration of GP for 7 continuous days. Further analysis showed that the mRNA expression of hepatic growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1), one of tissue repair and regeneration cytokines, was enhanced by GP. Taken together, the current research suggests that GP protects against TG-induced liver injury in mice probably involved during attenuating oxidative stress and inflammation, and promoting tissue repair and regeneration.
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