Sodium para-aminosalicylate (PAS-Na) was first applied successfully in clinical treatment of two manganism patients with good prognosis. However, the mechanism of how PAS-Na protects against Mn-induced neurotoxicity is still elusive. The current study was conducted to explore the effects of PAS-Na on Mn-induced basal ganglia astrocyte injury, and the involvement of amino acid neurotransmitter in vitro. Basal ganglia astrocytes were exposed to 500 μM manganese chloride (MnCl2) for 24 hr, following by 50, 150, or 450 μM PAS-Na treatment for another 24 hr. MnCl2 significantly decreased viability of astrocytes and induced DNA damages via increasing the percentage of tail DNA and Olive tail moment of DNA. Moreover, Mn interrupted amino acid neurotransmitters by decreasing Gln levels and increasing Glu, Gly levels. In contrast, PAS-Na treatment reversed the aforementioned Mn-induced toxic effects on basal ganglia astrocytes. Taken together, our results demonstrated that excessive Mn exposure may induce toxic effects on basal ganglia astrocytes, while PAS-Na could protect basal ganglia astrocytes from Mn-induced neurotoxicity.
Diesel exhaust consists of diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) and gaseous compounds. Because previous research suggested that in utero exposure to DEPs affected spatial learning and memory in male offspring, while epidemiological evidence suggested disturbances in affect after prenatal exposure to particulates, we hypothesized that DEP exposure during pregnancy might also disturb affect. Here, we explored the effects of in utero exposure to DEPs on anxiety in male ICR mice. DEP solutions were administered subcutaneously to pregnant ICR mice at a dose of 0 or 200 μg/kg body weight on gestation days 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18. We assessed anxiety in 6 week-old male offspring using the hole board test and elevated plus maze test. After the behavioral tests, animals were sacrificed and serotonin (5-HT) levels in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) were measured using HPLC. Mice exposed to DEPs in utero demonstrated increased anxiety in both behavioral tests. HPLC analysis revealed a significant increase in 5-HT levels in the DRN. Double immunolabeling of the DRN using anti-5-HT and anti-FosB (a chronic neuronal activation marker) antibodies indicated chronic activation of the DRN might underlie the increased anxiety after prenatal DEP exposure.
Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) is commonly examined for pulmonary toxicity in animal studies. Two common means of anesthesia before euthanasia and bronchoalveolar lavage in rats are intraperitoneal injection of pentobarbital and inhalation of isoflurane. Medetomidine–midazolam–butorphanol is an alternative anesthesia to pentobarbital for animal welfare; however, the effect of this combination on BALF and blood chemistry is unknown. Here, we compared the effects of anesthesia by intraperitoneal injection of pentobarbital or one of two combinations of medetomidine–midazolam–butorphanol (dose, 0.375-2.0-2.5 or 0.15-2.0-2.5 mg/kg) or by inhalation of isoflurane on BALF and blood chemistry in rats with or without pulmonary inflammation. In BALF, we determined total protein, albumin, lactate dehydrogenase, total cell count and neutrophil count. In serum, we conducted a general chemistry screen. After anesthesia with pentobarbital or isoflurane, there were no significant differences between any of the BALF or blood chemistry parameters with or without inflammation. After anesthesia with either of the combinations of medetomidine–midazolam–butorphanol, lactate dehydrogenase, total cell count, neutrophil count, and almost all of the blood chemistry parameters were comparable with those observed after pentobarbital or isoflurane; however, BALF albumin and serum glucose were significantly increased in rats without inflammation. After the combination of low-dose medetomidine in rats with inflammation, BALF parameters were comparable with those observed after pentobarbital or isoflurane. Our results show that, of the anesthetics examined, inhalation of isoflurane is the most appropriate means of anesthesia when examining BALF or serum for toxicity studies in rats.
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is one of the serious and frequent drug-related adverse events. This adverse event is a main reason for regulatory action pertaining to drugs, including restrictions in clinical indications and withdrawal from clinical trials or the marketplace. Idiosyncratic DILI especially has become a major clinical concern because of its unpredictable nature, frequent hospitalization, need for liver transplantation and high mortality. The estimation of the potential for compounds to induce idiosyncratic DILI is very difficult in non-clinical studies because the precise mechanism of idiosyncratic DILI is still unknown. Recently, many in vitro assays which indicate a possibility of the prediction of the idiosyncratic DILI have been reported. Among these, some in vitro assays focus on the effects of compounds on mitochondrial function and the apoptotic effects of compounds on human hepatocytes. In this study, we measured oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and caspase-3/7 activity as an endpoint of mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis, respectively, with human hepatocytes after treatment with compounds causing idiosyncratic DILI (troglitazone, leflunomide, ranitidine and diclofenac). Troglitazone and leflunomide decreased the OCR but did not affect caspase-3/7 activity. Ranitidine increased caspase-3/7 activity but did not affect the OCR. Diclofenac decreased the OCR and increased caspase-3/7 activity. Acetaminophen and ethanol, which are also hepatotoxicants but do not induce idiosyncratic DILI, did not affect the OCR or caspase-3/7 activity. These results indicate that a combination assay of mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis is useful for the estimation of potential risk of compounds to induce idiosyncratic DILI.
Organophosphorus (OP) compounds such as sarin are toxic agents that irreversibly inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. A recent study showed that OP compounds also have multiple toxicity mechanisms, and another suggested that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction contributes to OP toxicity. However, the signaling pathway and mechanisms involved are poorly understood. We examined whether the sarin-like OP agent bis(isopropyl methyl)phosphonate (BIMP), which exhibits toxicity similar to that of sarin, induced ER stress in human astrocytoma CCF-STTG1 cells. Our results demonstrate that BIMP exposure reduced cell viability. Moreover, it induced changes in mitochondrial membrane potential and increased cleavage of caspase 3. Treatment with BIMP increased the mRNA levels of the ER stress marker genes binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) and the transcription factor C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). Furthermore, BIMP increased the protein expressions and phosphorylation of BiP, CHOP, and protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase and the phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2. Compared to BIMP treatment alone, pretreatment with the CHOP siRNA, siCHOP, decreased BIMP-dependent CHOP expression and improved CCF-STTG1 cell viability. Our findings suggest that BIMP induced mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptotic cell death event mediated by ER stress in CCF-STTG1 cells and that treatment targeted at managing ER stress has the potential to attenuate the toxicity of OP nerve agents.
Propofol can induce acute neuronal apoptosis or long-term cognitive dysfunction when exposed at early age in rodents, but it is unclear how the neurotoxicity including neuronal apoptosis and synaptic loss will change in a dynamic manner with brain development after multiple or single exposure of propofol, and the role of neuronal apoptosis and synaptic loss in propofol-induced long-term cognitive impairment needs to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated dynamic changes of neuronal apoptosis, neuronal density, synaptic density in hippocampal CA1 region and the prelimbic cortex (PrL), and long-term cognitive function after multiple or single exposure of propofol in neonatal rats. Results showed that single exposure of propofol only induced great neuronal apoptosis and deficit at postnatal day 9(P9); while multiple exposures of propofol could induce significant neuronal apoptosis, neuronal deficit and synaptic loss at P9, P14, P21, or P35 compared with intact, and spatial learning and memory impairment from P36 to P41. Results suggest that single exposure of propofol only induces transient neuronal apoptosis and deficit, while multiple exposures of propofol induce persistent neuronal apoptosis, neuronal deficit, synaptic loss, and long-term cognitive impairment. Furthermore, persistent neuronal deficit and disturbances in synapse formation but not transient neuronal apoptosis may contribute to long-term cognitive impairment.
The body surface area (BSA) of an organism is an important parameter for evaluating physiological functions. In drug development, normalization by BSA is an appropriate method for extrapolating doses between species. The BSA of animals has generally been estimated by multiplying a constant by the power of the body weight (BW). Recently, the use of miniature pigs in non-clinical studies for medical drugs or devices has gradually been increasing. However, verification of their BSA is not as yet sufficient. In this study, we measured the BSAs of 40 laboratory miniature pigs (11 males and 9 females of Göttingen minipig and 14 males and 6 females of Nippon Institute for Biological Science [NIBS] miniature pig) by analyzing computed tomography (CT) images, since measurements using a CT scanner were expected to more precisely determine BSA than classical measuring techniques. The measurement results showed the BSAs of the 20 Göttingen minipigs to range from 0.4358 to 0.8356 m2 (the working BW range: 12.7-37.0 kg) and 20 NIBS miniature pigs to range from 0.2906 to 0.8675 m2 (the working BW range: 7.9-41.5 kg). Since accuracy and reproducibility were confirmed by measuring the surface area of an acrylic cuboid, we concluded the measurement method employed in this study to be very reliable. We propose the following estimating formula for BSA of laboratory miniature pigs: 100 × BSA [m2] = 7.98 × BW [kg]2/3.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a highly toxic gaseous molecule that causes death to humans exposed to high concentrations. H2S is absorbed into the body through the alveolar epithelium and other tissues. The aim of this study is to evaluate the molecular mechanism underling acute lung injury caused by the inhalation of high concentrations of H2S. Rat lung epithelium-derived L2 cells were exposed to a H2S donor, NaHS, at concentrations of 2-4 mM for 1-6 hr. NaHS caused shrinkage and death of the cells without caspase activation. An actin-binding protein, transgelin, was identified as one of the NaHS-inducible proteins in the cells. NaHS increased myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation, indicating that actomyosin-mediated cellular contractility and/or motility could be increased after NaHS exposure. The administration of ML-7, a myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) inhibitor, accelerated cell death after NaHS exposure. Based on these data, we conclude that the increase in MLC phosphorylation in response to NaHS exposure is a cellular protective reaction against NaHS toxicity. Enhancements in smooth muscle cell properties such as transgelin expression and actomyosin-mediated contractility/motility might be involved in cell survival after NaHS exposure.
We investigated the thermal effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) on the variation in core temperature and gene expression of some stress markers in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 2.14 GHz wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) RF signals at a whole-body averaged specific absorption rate (WBA-SAR) of 4 W/kg, which causes behavioral disruption in laboratory animals, and 0.4 W/kg, which is the limit for the occupational exposure set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guideline. It is important to understand the possible in vivo effects derived from RF-EMF exposures at these intensities. Because of inadequate data on real-time core temperature analyses using free-moving animal and the association between stress and thermal effects of RF-EMF exposure, we analyzed the core body temperature under nonanesthetic condition during RF-EMF exposure. The results revealed that the core temperature increased by approximately 1.5°C compared with the baseline and reached a plateau till the end of RF-EMF exposure. Furthermore, we analyzed the gene expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsp) and heat-shock transcription factors (Hsf) family after RF-EMF exposure. At WBA-SAR of 4 W/kg, some Hsp and Hsf gene expression levels were significantly upregulated in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum following exposure for 6 hr/day but were not upregulated after exposure for 3 hr/day. On the other hand, there was no significant change in the core temperature and gene expression at WBA-SAR of 0.4 W/kg. Thus, 2.14-GHz RF-EMF exposure at WBA-SAR of 4 W/kg induced increases in the core temperature and upregulation of some stress markers, particularly in the cerebellum.
The toxicity of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) has been reported in several studies. However, there is not much known about the toxicological biomarkers that characterize BDE-209 exposure. In this study, we subcutaneously exposed mice to 0.025 mg/kg/day BDE-209 on postnatal days 1‑5 and sacrificed the animals at 12 weeks of age (day 84). Flow injection analysis and hydrophilic interaction chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry were used to determine the serum metabolomes of these mice in order to characterize the effects of BDE-209 exposure. Data analysis showed a good separation between control and exposed mice (R2 = 0.953, Q2 = 0.728, and ANOVA of the cross‑validated residuals (CV‑ANOVA): P‑value = 0.0317) and 54 metabolites were identified as altered in the exposed animals. These were selected using variable importance (VIP) and loadings scaled by a correlation coefficient criteria and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS‑DA). BDE‑209‑exposed mice showed lower levels of long-chain acylcarnitines and citrate cycle-related metabolites, and higher levels of some amino acids, long-chain phospholipids, and short-chain acylcarnitines. The disruption of fatty acid, carbohydrate, and amino acid metabolism observed in the serum metabolome might be related to the previously observed impaired spermatogenesis in mice with early postnatal exposure to a low dose of BDE-209.
The oxidative, reductive, and hydrolytic metabolism of methiocarb and the hydrolytic metabolism of carbaryl by liver microsomes and plasma of rats or humans were examined. The effects of the metabolism of methiocarb and carbaryl on their nuclear receptor activities were also examined. When methiocarb was incubated with rat liver microsomes in the presence of NADPH, methiocarb sulfoxide, and a novel metabolite, methiocarb sulfone were detected. Methiocarb sulfoxide was oxidized to the sulfone by liver microsomes and reduced back to methiocarb by liver cytosol. Thus, the interconversion between methiocarb and the sulfoxide was found to be a new metabolic pathway for methiocarb by liver microsomes. The product of methiocarb hydrolysis, which is methylthio-3,5-xylenol (MX), was also oxidized to sulfoxide form by rat liver microsomes. The oxidations were catalyzed by human flavin-containing monooxygenase isoform (FMO1). CYP2C19, which is a human cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoform, catalyzed the sulfoxidations of methiocarb and MX, while CYP1A2 also exhibited oxidase activity toward MX. Methiocarb and carbaryl were not enzymatically hydrolyzed by the liver microsomes, but they were mainly hydrolyzed by plasma and albumin to MX and 1-naphthol, respectively. Both methiocarb and carbaryl exhibited PXR and PPARα agonistic activities; however, methiocarb sulfoxide and sulfone showed markedly reduced activities. In fact, when methiocarb was incubated with liver microsomes, the receptor activities were decreased. In contrast, MX and 1-naphthol showed nuclear receptor activities equivalent to those of their parent carbamates. Thus, the hydrolysis of methiocarb and carbaryl and the oxidation of methiocarb markedly modified their nuclear receptor activities.
2-(2′-Hydroxy-3′,5′-di-tert-butylphenyl)benzotriazole (HDBB), the Benzotriazole UV-stabilizer (BUVSs) known as UV-320, is widely used in plastic materials for protection against UV-irradiation. Previously, we reported that oral ingestion of HDBB induce hepatotoxicity including hepatocyte hypertrophy and necrosis in rats and, males was more susceptible compared with females in young rats while no sex-related difference was observed in preweaning rats. Phenotypes observed in our previous study imply involvement of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α in HDBB hepatotoxicity, however, direct evidence that HDBB can activate PPARα has not been provided and the mechanism which underlying the gender difference of HDBB hepatotoxicity was not clearly elucidated. Here, we conduct transcriptome analysis using microarray expression profiles in the livers of rats administered HDBB. PPARα agonist activity of HDBB was elucidated by comparison with gene expression data of typical PPARα agonist, i.e. clofibrate, WY-14643, gemfibrozil, and fenofibrate, from TG GATEs database. Moreover, we analyzed for PPARα mRNA expression in the liver of developing male and female rats. PPARα mRNA expression level was higher in males than in females on postnatal days (PNDs) 28 and 35, whereas no sex-related difference was found on PNDs 7 and 22. These results suggest that HDBB exerts its hepatotoxicity through the PPARα signal pathway and the sex-related difference in PPARα expression may contribute to the sex-related difference in susceptibility to hepatotoxicity.
Ischemic-hypoxic condition for local osteoblasts and bone mesenchymal stem cells during bone fracture inhibits bone repairing. N-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP) has been approved as a safe and biologically inactive small chemical molecule, and might be useful for bone fracture repairing. In the present study, we investigated the effect of NMP on the hypoxia-reduced cellular viability and the expression of differentiation-associated markers, such as bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2), propeptide of type I procollagen I (PINP), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) or runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) in the osteoblasts, and then we examined the molecular mechanism underlining such effect in the human osteoblastic hFOB 1.19 cells. Our results demonstrated that NMP significantly blocked the hypoxia-induced cell viability reduction and inhibited the hypoxia-caused expression downregulation of BMP-2, PINP, ALP and Runx2 in hFOB 1.19 cells. Then we confirmed the involvement of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathway in the regulation by NMP on the hypoxia-mediated the reduction of osteoblast differentiation. The upregulated expression and transcriptional activity of NF-κB, while the downregulated inhibitory κB expression by the hypoxia treatment was reversed by the treatment with 10 mM NMP. In conclusion, our study found a protective role of NMP in osteoblast differentiation in response to hypoxia, and such protection was through inhibiting the NF-κB signaling. This suggests that NMP might be a protective agent in bone fracture repairing.