Epidemiological studies have confirmed that ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the underlying mechanisms in PM2.5 exposure-induced heart injury are largely unknown. It has been acknowledged that NADPH oxidase (Nox) 4 plays a critical role in CVD development. To investigate the acute effects of PM2.5 on the mouse heart and the role of Nox4 in PM2.5 exposure-induced cardiac injury, C57BL/6J mice were instilled with saline or 1.5, 3.0, 6.0 mg/kg BW PM2.5 suspension for two weeks (five days per week). The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), super oxide dismutase (SOD), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL)-1β in heart supernatants were determined using related kits. The expression of Nox4, p67phox, p47phox and p22phox in heart tissue was evaluated by immunofluorescence staining or Western blotting, respectively. Protein levels of p53, Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase-3 in the heart were examined using immunohistochemical staining and Western blotting. TUNEL assay was used to measure myocardial apoptosis. PM2.5 exposure leads to obvious cardiac injury. PM2.5 exposure increases MDA level and iNOS activity, and decreases activity of SOD in heart supernatants of mice. High levels of TNF-α and IL-1β in heart supernatants of mice with PM2.5 instillation were determined. Nox4 and Nox-associated subunits such as p67phox, p47phox and p22phox expression levels were increased in heart tissue of mice after PM2.5 exposure. Additionally, PM2.5 exposure causes myocardial apoptosis in the mouse heart. This study suggested that Nox4 is involved in PM2.5 exposure-induced cardiac injury in mice.
In order to better understand the variability of pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of terfenadine between the previous studies as well as to qualitatively and quantitatively examine the proarrhythmic potential of its major active metabolite fexofenadine in comparison with that of terfenadine, we directly compared their electropharmacological effects with halothane-anesthetized dogs (n = 3). For this purpose, we adopted a cross-over design, which can directly compare the effects of terfenadine and fexofenadine under the identical metabolic condition. Terfenadine in doses of 0.03 and 0.3 mg/kg increased the mean blood pressure, but that of 3 mg/kg decreased it. Terfenadine also increased the heart rate and ventricular contractility in a dose-related manner; but delayed the atrioventricular nodal and intraventricular conductions as well as repolarization suggesting its proarrhythmic potential. Meanwhile, fexofenadine in the same dose increased the mean blood pressure in a dose-related manner without affecting any of the electrophysiological variables in the same animals that proarrhythmic risk of terfenadine was confirmed, indicating its lack of proarrhythmic risk. Peak plasma concentrations for fexofenadine were 3.7, 8.1 and 11.2 times greater than for terfenadine at each matching dose, indicating terfenadine may be metabolized much faster than fexofenadine. Taken together, after the low and middle doses of terfenadine, vasopressor effect of a metabolite fexofenadine could be greater than the depressor effect of parent compound terfenadine, but its reverse would be correct after the high dose. Thus, the cross-over analysis can be an effective way to better understand drug-induced cardiovascular responses.
Paraquat (PQ) is an herbicide that was once used worldwide, but is now prohibited in many nations due to its high toxicity to humans. However, there are still rare cases of the fetal intoxication of PQ, which was purchased prior to the prohibition in Japan. In this study, several cell death pathways, the mitochondrial stress response, and autophagy were examined in SH-SY5Y cells exposed to PQ. The results reveal the decrease of a mitochondrial stress sensitive-BNIP3 (Bcl-2/adenovirus E1B 19-kDa-interacting protein 3) protein, the suppression of autophagic flux, and the lack of apoptosis as well as other regulated forms of necrosis, such as necroptosis and ferroptosis. Taken together, our preliminary survey of cellular responses against PQ shows that, although responses of mitochondria and autophagy are observed, subsequent cell death is necrosis. Mechanism of PQ-induced SH-SY5Y cell death should be complicated and cannot be explained thoroughly by already-known mechanisms.
Most of the α-halo carbonyl (AHC) compounds tend to be predicted as mutagenic by structure-activity relationship based on structural category only, because they have an alkyl halide structure as a structural alert of mutagenicity. However, some AHC compounds are not mutagenic. We hypothesized that AHC reacts with DNA by SN2 reaction, and the reactivity relates to mutagenicity. As an index of SN2 reactivity, we focused on molecular orbitals (MOs), as the direction and position of two molecules in collision are important in the SN2 reaction. The MOs suitable for SN2 reaction (SN2MOs) were selected by chemical-visual inspection based on the shape of the MO. We used the level gap and the energy gap between SN2MO and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital as the descriptors of SN2 reactivity. As the results, SN2 reactivity related to mutagenicity and we were able to predict mutagenicity of 20 AHC compounds with 95.0% concordance. It was suggested that SN2 reaction is a reaction mechanism of AHC compounds and DNA in the mutagenic process. The method allows for discrimination among structurally similar compounds by combination with quantitative structure-activity relationships. The combination approach is expected to be useful for the mutagenic assessment of pharmaceutical impurities.
1-Naphthol (1-Nap) and 2-naphthol (2-Nap) are phenolic isomers that may be subjected to sulfate conjugation in vivo. Phase-II sulfate conjugation of phenolic compounds is generally thought to result in their inactivation. This study aimed to investigate the antioxidative effects of 1-NapS and 2-NapS, in comparison with their unsulfated counterparts, using established free radical scavenging assays. Based on the calculated EC50 values, 1-NapS resulted in 5.60 to 7.35-times lower antioxidative activity than 1-Nap. In contrast, 2-NapS showed comparable activities as did the unsulfated 2-Nap. Collectively, the results obtained indicated that sulfate conjugation of the Nap isomers did not always result in the decrease of their antioxidant activity, and the antioxidant activity that remained appeared to depend on the position of sulfation.
The drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A is a heterogeneous enzyme found in the liver that displays local characteristics referred to as “zonation.” Zonation contributes to improved energy efficiency in metabolism. The objective of this study was to determine a scientific basis for the safety of fetuses and nursing infants in cases in which the use of pharmaceuticals by pregnant and nursing mothers is unavoidable. In addition, we analyzed CYP3A zonation in the liver using mice from the fetus stage to the nursing stage. The livers of mice ranging from day 13.5 of the fetal stage to day 7 of the nursing stage were resected and immunostained using rabbit anti-rat CYP3A2 Ab, which can detect CYP3A11, CYP3A13, CYP3A16, CYP3A25, CYP3A41 and CYP3A44. The results indicated that zonation did not begin in the fetus stage up to day 3 of the nursing stage, and began on day 7 of infancy. This study revealed that changes in the metabolic activity of CYP3A in the liver between the fetal and nursing stages are partly related to zonation. Further studies are needed to establish standards for the proper use of pharmaceuticals by pregnant and nursing mothers.
Recently, animal testing has been affected by increasing ethical, social, and political concerns regarding animal welfare. Several in vitro safety tests for evaluating skin sensitization, such as the human cell line activation test (h-CLAT), have been proposed. However, similar to other tests, the h-CLAT has produced false-negative results, including in tests for acid anhydride and water-insoluble chemicals. In a previous study, we demonstrated that the cause of false-negative results from phthalic anhydride was hydrolysis by an aqueous vehicle, with IL-8 release from THP-1 cells, and that short-time exposure to liquid paraffin (LP) dispersion medium could reduce false-negative results from acid anhydrides. In the present study, we modified the h-CLAT by applying this exposure method. We found that the modified h-CLAT is a promising method for reducing false-negative results obtained from acid anhydrides and chemicals with octanol–water partition coefficients (LogKow) greater than 3.5. Based on the outcomes from the present study, a combination of the original and the modified h-CLAT is suggested for reducing false-negative results. Notably, the combination method provided a sensitivity of 95% (overall chemicals) or 93% (chemicals with LogKow > 2.0), and an accuracy of 88% (overall chemicals) or 81% (chemicals with LogKow > 2.0). We found that the combined method is a promising evaluation scheme for reducing false-negative results seen in existing in vitro skin-sensitization tests. In the future, we expect a combination of original and modified h-CLAT to be applied in a newly developed in vitro test for evaluating skin sensitization.