Lanthanum oxide (La2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely used in photoelectric and catalytic applications. However, their exposure and reproductive toxicity is unknown. In this study, the effect of the intragastric administration of two different-sized La2O3 particles in the testes of mice for 60 days was investigated. Although the body weight of mice treated or not treated with La2O3 NPs was not different and La2O3 NPs were distributed in the organs including the testis, liver, kidney, spleen, heart and brain. La2O3 NPs accumulate more than micro-sized La2O3 (MPs) in mice testes. The histopathological evaluation showed that moderate reproductive toxicity induced by La2O3 NPs in the testicle tissues. Furthermore, increased MDA, 8-OHdG levels and decreased SOD activities were detected in the La2O3 NP-treated groups. Moreover, qRT-PCR and western blotting data indicated that La2O3 NPs affecting the blood–testis barrier (BTB)-related genes in mice testes. Taken together, these findings suggested that La2O3 NPs activated inflammation responses and cross the BTB in the murine testes. This study provided useful information for risk analysis and regulation of La2O3 NPs by administrative agencies.
Paraquat (PQ) as a non-selective heterocyclic herbicide, has been applied worldwide for over a few decades. But PQ is very harmful to humans and rodents. The lung is the main target organ of PQ poisoning. It is an important event that lung epithelial cells are injured during PQ-induced acute lung injury and pulmonary fibrosis. As a regulator of mRNA expression, microRNA (miRNA) may play an important role in the progress. Our study was to investigate the mechanisms of PQ-induced injury of pulmonary epithelial cells through analyzing the profiling of miRNAs and their target genes. As a result, 11 differentially expressed miRNAs were screened, including 1 upregulated miRNA and 10 downregulated miRNAs in PQ-treated murine lung alveolar epithelial cells (MLE-12 cells). The bioinformatic analyses suggested that the target genes of these miRNAs were involved in mitochondrial apoptosis pathway and DNA methylation, and participated in the regulation of PI3K-Akt, mTOR, RAS, TNF, MAPK and other signal pathways which related to oxidative stress and apoptosis. This indicated that miRNAs were an important regulator of oxidative stress and apoptosis during PQ-induced injury of murine lung alveolar epithelial cells. The findings would deepen our understanding of the mechanisms of PQ-induced pulmonary injury and might provide new treatment targets for this disease.
The imbalance of testosterone to estradiol ratio has been related to the development of prostate diseases. Although rat models of prostate diseases induced by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and/or hormone exposure are commonly used to analyze gene expression profiles in the prostate, most studies utilize a single endpoint. In this study, microarray analysis was used for gene expression profiling in rat prostate tissue after exposure to EDCs and sex hormones over multiple time points (prepubertal through adulthood). We used dorsolateral prostate tissues from Sprague-Dawley rats (male offspring) and postnatally administered estradiol benzoate (EB) on postnatal days (PNDs) 1, 3, and 5, followed by treatment with additional hormones [estradiol (E) and testosterone (T)] on PNDs 90–200, as described by Ho et al. Microarray analysis was performed for gene expression profiling in the dorsolateral prostate, and the results were validated via qRT-PCR. The genes in cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, cell adhesion molecules, and chemokines were upregulated in the EB+T+E group on PNDs 145 and 200. Moreover, early-stage downregulation of anti-inflammatory gene: bone morphogenetic protein 7 gene was observed. These findings suggest that exposure to EB, T, and E activates multiple pathways and simultaneously downregulates anti-inflammatory genes. Interestingly, these genes are reportedly expressed in prostate cancer tissues/cell lines. Further studies are required to elucidate the mechanism, including analyses using human prostate tissues.
Although peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) agonists are obviously hepatocarcinogenic in rodents, they have been widely used for dyslipidemia and proven to be safe for clinical use without respect to the species difference. It is established that PPARα acts as a part of the transcription factor complex, but its precise mechanism is still unknown. Using the data of Toxicogenomics Database, reliable genes responsive to PPARα agonists, clofibrate, fenofibrate and WY-14,643, in rat liver, were extracted from both in vivo and in vitro data, and sorted by their fold increase. It was found that there were many genes responding to fibrates exclusively in vivo. Most of the in vivo specific genes appear to be unrelated to lipid metabolism and are not upregulated in the kidney. Fifty-seven genes directly related to cell proliferation were extracted from in vivo data, but they were not induced in vitro at all. Analysis of PPAR-responsive elements could not explain the observed difference in induction. To evaluate possible interaction between neighboring genes in gene expression, the correlation of the fold changes of neighboring genes for 22 drugs with various PPARα agonistic potencies were calculated for the genes showing more than 2.5 fold induction by 3 fibrates in vivo, and their genomic location was compared with that of the human orthologue. In the present study, many candidates of genes other than lipid metabolism were selected, and these could be good starting points to elucidate the mechanism of PPARα agonist-induced rodent-specific toxicity.
By analysis of the data from the Toxicogenomics Database (TG-GATEs), histidine decarboxylase gene (Hdc) was identified as largely and commonly upregulated by three fibrates, clofibrate, fenofibrate, and WY-14,643, which are known to induce hepatocellular hypertrophy and proliferation via stimulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) in rodents. As histamine has been reported to be involved in the proliferation of liver cells, the present study was conducted to focus on Hdc. Among other genes related to histidine and histamine, the expression of the gene of histamine ammonia lyase (Hal) was exclusively mobilized by the three fibrates. The expression of Hdc, which was usually very low in the liver, was increased with the repeated administration of fibrates, and concomitantly, the constitutive expression of Hal was suppressed. An interpretation is that the formation of urocanic acid from histidine under the normal condition switches to the formation of histamine. The mobilization of gene expression of Hdc and Hal by PPARα agonists could not be reproduced in primary cultured hepatocytes. The Hdc mRNA appeared to be translated to a protein which is processed differently from brain but similarly to gastric mucosa. Surprisingly, the fibrates caused hepatic hypertrophy but no induction of Hdc mRNA at all in mice. These results revealed that the changes in the histidine catabolism by PPARα agonists might be partially, but not directly, involved in the hepatocyte proliferation in rats, and there is a large genetic distance even between rat and mouse.
Gefitinib (GEF) is the first selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor. It is associated with the occurrence of clinical drug-induced liver injury. Although GEF is metabolized to chemically reactive metabolites by cytochrome P450 3A and 1A enzymes and then conjugated to glutathione (GSH), whether these reactive metabolites contribute to GEF-induced toxicity remains unknown. In this study, we investigated whether GSH depletion can sensitize mice to liver injury caused by GEF. Male C57BL/6J mice were intraperitoneally pretreated with L-buthionine (S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO) at 700 mg/kg to inhibit GSH synthesis and then orally administered GEF at 500 mg/kg every 24 hr for 4 consecutive days. The coadministration of BSO and GEF increased plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels to approximately 700 U/L and 1600 U/L at 72 and 96 hr after the first administration, respectively, whereas the increase in plasma ALT levels in mice receiving GEF at 500 mg/kg alone was limited, suggesting that GSH plays a protective role in GEF-induced liver injury. Histological examination showed nuclear karyorrhexis and sporadic single hepatocyte death in the livers of BSO+GEF coadministered mice. In these mice, the hepatic expression levels of heme oxygenase 1 (Hmox1) and metallothionein 2 (Mt2) mRNA, caspase 3/7 enzymatic activity, and the amounts of 2-thiobarbiuric acid reactive substances were significantly increased, suggesting the presence of oxidative stress, which may be associated with hepatocellular death. Together, these results show that oxidative stress as well as the reactive metabolites of GEF are involved in GEF-induced liver injury in GSH-depleted mice.
Creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) serve as biomarkers for skeletal muscle injury in preclinical toxicity studies, but have a limitation regarding tissue specificity. Circulating miR-206 was recently reported to be a useful biomarker for skeletal muscle disorders in humans. Here, we sought to determine whether serum miR-206 can be used as a biomarker in preclinical toxicity studies to detect drug-induced skeletal muscle injury with higher sensitivity and specificity than the biomarkers CK, LDH, skeletal troponin I (sTnI), and myosin light chain 3 (Myl3). We established rat models of skeletal muscle injury through treatment with the muscle toxicant 2,3,5,6-tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine (TMPD) as well as four in-house compounds. We found that serum miR-206 levels significantly increased after treatment with TMPD, and tended to be higher in rats treated with in-house compounds than in control rats. ROC analysis revealed that the specificity of serum miR-206 for detection of skeletal muscle injury was higher compared with those of other markers. Further, serum miR-206 levels were unchanged in rats with isoproterenol-induced cardiotoxicity. These findings demonstrate that serum miR-206 may serve as a highly specific biomarker for preclinical analysis of rats with drug-induced skeletal muscle injuries.