• Minimal Role of Hepatic Transporters in the Hepatoprotection against LCA-Induced Intrahepatic Cholestasis.
    • Beilke, Besselsen, Cheng, Kulkarni, Slitt and Cherrington
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 102 : 1
    • Abstract

    The multidrug resistance-associated proteins (Mrps) are a family of adenosine triphosphate-dependent transporters that facilitate the movement of various compounds, including bile acids, out of hepatocytes. The current study was conducted to determine whether induction of these transporters alters bile acid disposition as a means of hepatoprotection during bile acid-induced cholestasis. Lithocholic acid (LCA) was used to induce intrahepatic cholestasis. C57BL/6 mice were pretreated with corn oil (CO) or known transporter inducers, phenobarbital (PB), oltipraz (OPZ), or TCPOBOP (TC) for 3 days prior to cotreatment with LCA and inducer for 4 days. Histopathology revealed that PB and TC pretreatments provide a protective effect from LCA-induced toxicity, whereas OPZ pretreatment did not. Both PB/LCA and TC/LCA cotreatment groups also had significantly lower alanine aminotransferase values than the LCA-only group. In TC/LCA cotreated mice compared with LCA only, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of uptake transporters Ntcp and Oatp4 was significantly increased, as were sinusoidal efflux transporters Mrp3 and Mrp4. Although in PB/LCA cotreated mice, the only significant change compared with LCA-only treatment was an increase in uptake transporter Oatp4. Oatp1 was reduced in all groups compared with CO controls. No significant changes in mRNA expression were observed in Oatp2, Bsep, Mrp2, Bcrp, Mrp1, Mrp5, or Mrp6. Mrp4 protein expression was induced in the OPZ/LCA and TC/LCA cotreated groups, whereas Mrp3 protein levels remained unchanged between groups. Protein expression of Mrp1 and Mrp5 was increased in the unprotected LCA-only and OPZ/LCA mice. Thus, transporter expression did not correlate with histologic hepatoprotection, however, there was a correlation between hepatoprotection and significantly reduced total liver bile acids in the PB/LCA and TC/LCA cotreated mice compared with LCA only. In conclusion, changes in transporter expression did not correlate with hepatoprotection, and therefore, transport may not play a critical role in the observed hepatoprotection from LCA-induced cholestasis in the C57BL/6 mouse.

    • Effect of phenobarbital on hepatic cell proliferation and apoptosis in mice deficient in the p50 subunit of NF-kappaB.
    • Tharappel, Spear and Glauert
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 226 : 3
    • Abstract

    Phenobarbital (PB) is a nongenotoxic tumor promoter in the liver. One mechanism by which PB may exert its tumor promoting activity is by inducing oxidative stress. We previously found that PB administration increased hepatic NF-kappaB DNA binding activity. In this study we examined the hypothesis that the effects of PB on cell proliferation and apoptosis are dependent on NF-kappaB. We used a mouse model that is deficient in the p50 subunit of NF-kappaB; previous studies had found that p50-/- mice were less sensitive to the induction of hepatic cell proliferation by PCBs or peroxisome proliferators. Mice (p50-/- and wild-type B6129) were fed a control diet or one containing 0.05% PB for 3, 10 or 34 days. At the end of the experiment, the mice were euthanized and livers removed and processed. PB increased cell proliferation at 3 and 10 days (but not at 34 days), but the deletion of the NF-kappaB p50 subunit did not inhibit these increases. p50-/- Mice had higher cell proliferation at the 3 day (only in mice fed PB) and 34-day timepoints. PB decreased hepatocyte apoptosis after 3 days, slightly decreased it after 10 days, and did not affect it after 34 days. The deletion of the NF-kappaB p50 subunit did not influence PB's effect on apoptosis. In p50-/- mice, apoptosis was increased after 3 or 10 days compared to wild-type mice, but no effect was seen after 34 days. The hepatic expression of the NF-kappaB-regulated gene TNF-alpha correlated more with the hepatic cell proliferation data than with hepatic apoptosis, and was not decreased by the deletion of the p50 subunit. These findings show that the p50 subunit of NF-kappaB is not required for the alteration of hepatocyte proliferation or apoptosis by PB up to 34 days after its administration.

    • DHA down-regulates phenobarbital-induced cytochrome P450 2B1 gene expression in rat primary hepatocytes by attenuating CAR translocation.
    • Li, Lii, Liu, Yang and Chen
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 225 : 3
    • Abstract

    The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) plays an important role in regulating the expression of detoxifying enzymes, including cytochrome P450 2B (CYP 2B). Phenobarbital (PB) induction of human CYP 2B6 and mouse CYP 2b10 has been shown to be mediated by CAR. Our previous study showed that PB-induced CYP 2B1 expression in rat primary hepatocytes is down-regulated by both n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); however, the mechanism for this down-regulation by DHA was previously unknown. The objective of the present study was to determine whether change in CAR translocation is involved in the down-regulation by n-6 and n-3 PUFAs of PB-induced CYP 2B1 expression in rat primary hepatocytes. We used 100 microM arachidonic acid, linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA to test this hypothesis. PB triggered the translocation of CAR from the cytosol into the nucleus in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner in our hepatocyte system, and the CAR distribution in rat primary hepatocytes was significantly affected by DHA. DHA treatment decreased PB-inducible accumulation of CAR in the nuclear fraction and increased it in the cytosolic fraction in a dose-dependent manner. The down-regulation of CYP 2B1 expression by DHA occurred in a dose-dependent manner, and a similar pattern was found for the nuclear accumulation of CAR. The results of immunoprecipitation showed a CAR/RXR heterodimer bound to nuclear receptor binding site 1 (NR-1) of the PB-responsive enhancer module (PBREM) of the CYP 2B1gene. The EMSA results showed that PB-induced CAR binding to NR-1 was attenuated by DHA. Taken together, these results suggest that attenuation of CAR translocation and decreased subsequent binding to NR-1 are involved in DHA's down-regulation of PB-induced CYP 2B1 expression.

    • Chemo-preventive effect of Star anise in N-nitrosodiethylamine initiated and phenobarbital promoted hepato-carcinogenesis.
    • Yadav and Bhatnagar
    • Chem Biol Interact
    • 169 : 3
    • Abstract

    The generation of free radicals is a cause of many pathological conditions like diabetes mellitus, cancer, stroke, etc. Free radicals cause damage to cellular DNA and initiate carcinogenesis. Free radicals also bring about proliferation of cells via cell signaling. An inverse relationship between the consumption of vegetable diets and the risk of cancer has been established. In the present study, Star anise (Illicium verum), which is a commonly used condiment in Indian cuisine, was assessed for its anti-carcinogenic potential in N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) initiated and phenobarbital (PB) promoted hepato-carcinogenesis. Rats were randomly selected for eight experimental groups. The carcinogenesis was induced by injecting the rats, with a single dose of NDEA (200mg/kg body weight) intraperitoneally as initiator, followed by promotion with PB (0.05%) in drinking water for 14 consecutive weeks. The treatment with NDEA increased liver weight, while Star anise (Star) treatment reduced the liver weight of rats. The treatment with Star throughout for 20 weeks or during the promotion stage (6-20 weeks) significantly reduced the nodule incidence and nodule multiplicity in the rats, while the treatment with Star at the initiation phase (first 4 weeks) only could not reduce these parameters. The treatment with Star for 20 consecutive weeks significantly reduced the nodule size and nodule volume. The treatment with Star throughout as well as at the promotion stage lowered the lipid peroxidation (LPO) in liver and erythrocytes, while the LPO was not lowered, when Star was administered during initiation stage only. The treatment with Star restored the liver and erythrocyte super-oxide dismutase (SOD) activities to normal in the carcinogenesis-induced rats. The liver catalase (CAT) activity increased in all the treated groups. The erythrocyte CAT activity increased in the rats treated with Star during initiation and promotion stage only. The liver glutathione (GSH) level increased significantly in the groups treated with Star. The erythrocyte GSH level was lowered in the rats treated with NDEA and PB, however, Star treatment helped in increasing the erythrocyte GSH level to some extent. The liver and erythrocyte glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity increased in all the groups treated with NDEA and PB. The treatment with Star decreased GST level significantly. These results indicate that the treatment with Star reduces the tumor burden, lowers oxidative stress and increases the level of phase II enzymes, which may contribute to its anti-carcinogenic potential.

    • Comparison of mode of action of four hepatocarcinogens: a model-based approach.
    • Groos, Bannasch, Schwarz and Kopp-Schneider
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 99 : 2
    • Abstract

    Within the scope of the Rat Liver Foci Bioassay the model carcinogens N-nitrosomorpholine (NNM), 2-acetylaminoflouren (2-AAF), phenobarbital (PB), and clofibrate (CF) were analyzed concerning their potency and dose-response relationship to induce foci of altered hepatocytes (FAHs), which are known to be precursor lesions of liver adenoma and carcinoma. The medium-term experiment follows an initiation-promotion protocol using diethylnitrosamine (DEN) as initiator. The present report deals with the application of two biologically based models for hepatocarcinogenesis, the two-stage clonal expansion model (TSCEM), and a color-shift model with beta distributed growth rates (CSMbeta). Both models yield similar conclusions concerning the mode of action of the carcinogens. However, the fit of CSMbeta appears closer to the observations than the fit of TSCEM. The analysis shows that application of a single dose of DEN has a persistent effect on the rate of FAH induction, especially in female rats. Overall, striking differences in the effect of the carcinogens were observed between male and female animals. 2-AAF shows a strong promoting effect in males, whereas in females the initiating effect dominates. NNM has both initiating and promoting effect, but in females, the rate of FAH formation seems to reach saturation at high dose. In the doses applied in the present experiment, PB has the weakest carcinogenic effect. Although PB alone does not induce FAH during the observation period, it increases the rate of FAH formation when applied following initiation with DEN. CF reduces the number and area fraction of GSTP-stained FAH, probably because it suppresses the placental form of glutathione S-transferase-positive phenotype.

    • The use of metabolomics for the discovery of new biomarkers of effect.
    • van Ravenzwaay, Cunha, Leibold, Looser, Mellert, Prokoudine, Walk and Wiemer
    • Toxicol Lett
    • 172 : 1-2
    • Abstract

    Will metabolomics have a greater chance of success in toxicology and biomarker assessment than genomics and proteomics? Metabolomics has the advantage that (1) it analyses the last step in a series of changes following a toxic insult, (2) many of the metabolites have a known function and (3) changes are detectable in blood. If the analysis of a great number of individual organs can be replaced by one matrix then this will provide significant advantages (less invasive method, no need to kill animals, time course analysis possible). We have chosen to perform the analysis of blood metabolites in such a way as to minimize the risk of artifacts and to have a high number of known metabolites. We have also reduced the amount of variation in the biological system as well as during analysis. In a series of proof of concept studies it could be demonstrated that (1) the metabolome of control animals was stable of a period of nearly 1 year, with a remarkable differentiation between males and females, (2) a dose response relationship in metabolome changes was induced by phenobarbital and that (3) different modes of action could be distinguished by blood metabolome analysis. To investigate the potential of metabolomics to find biomarkers or specific patterns of change we have analyzed the blood metabolome of rats treated with HPPD inhibitors, a novel class of herbicides. The results demonstrated that a single metabolite, tyrosine, can be used as a biomarker. In addition to tyrosine we also found a specific pattern of change that involved nine metabolites. Though the extent of change was less than for tyrosine the consistent change of these metabolites is diagnostic for this (toxicological) mode of action.

    • Differential inhibition of hepatic microsomal alkoxyresorufin O-dealkylation activities by tetrachlorobiphenyls.
    • Edwards, Hrycay and Bandiera
    • Chem Biol Interact
    • 169 : 1
    • Abstract

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) elicit a spectrum of biochemical and toxic effects in exposed animals. In the present study, we assessed the effect of PCB structure, using four symmetrically-substituted PCBs, on cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated methoxy-, ethoxy- and benzyloxyresorufin O-dealkylase (MROD, EROD and BROD, respectively) activities. We found that 2,2',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 47), 2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 52), 2,2',6,6'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 54) and 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 77) inhibited alkoxyresorufin O-dealkylase activities in hepatic microsomes from 3-methylcholanthrene (MC) or phenobarbital (PB)-treated rats. Measurement of the in vitro inhibitory potencies of the tetrachlorobiphenyls revealed that MROD, EROD and BROD activities were differentially inhibited and the degree of inhibition was determined by the chlorination pattern of the PCB. PCB 77 was more potent than PCB 47 or PCB 52 at inhibiting MROD and EROD activities in hepatic microsomes from MC-treated rats, while no inhibition of either activity was observed with PCB 54. In contrast, BROD activity measured in hepatic microsomes from PB-treated rats was inhibited by PCB 47, PCB 52 and PCB 54 but not by PCB 77. The mode of inhibition for each activity was also evaluated statistically. Inhibition of the alkoxyresorufin O-dealkylase activities could not be discerned in hepatic microsomes from corn oil-treated rats because the activities were inherently too low. No evidence for mechanism-based inhibition of MROD, EROD or BROD activities or an effect via CYP reductase was found. The results demonstrate that relatively coplanar PCBs such as PCB 77 preferentially inhibit EROD and MROD activities, whereas noncoplanar PCBs such as PCB 54 preferentially inhibit BROD activity.

    • Standardization of the perchlorate discharge assay for thyroid toxicity testing in rats.
    • Coelho-Palermo Cunha and van Ravenzwaay
    • Regul Toxicol Pharmacol
    • 48 : 3
    • Abstract

    The perchlorate discharge assay (PDA) is potentially of high diagnostic value to distinguish between direct and indirect thyroid toxicity mechanisms, provided that standard treatment times are established and positive controls yield reproducible results. Therefore the PDA was evaluated after 2 and/or 4 weeks of treatment with positive control compounds in rats. Phenobarbital, Aroclor 1254 and beta-naphthoflavone (indirect toxic mechanism) enhanced thyroidal radioiodide accumulation, and the administration of potassium perchlorate had no effect on thyroid: blood (125)I ratio. Phenobarbital caused follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia in the thyroid and centrilobular hypertrophy in the liver, without effects on serum triiodotyronine (T(3)), thyroxine (T(4)) levels. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were moderately increased. Propylthiouracil (direct toxic mechanism) caused severe thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia, reduced serum T(3) and T(4) levels and increased serum TSH levels, and reduced thyroidal radioiodide accumulation; perchlorate administration significantly reduced thyroid: blood (125)I ratio, demonstrating an iodide organification block. Potassium iodide (direct toxic mechanism) virtually blocked thyroidal radioiodide accumulation, without significant effects on serum T(3), T(4), and TSH levels and a microscopic correlate for higher thyroid weights. Thus, positive controls yielded reproducible results and we conclude that both the 2- and 4-week PDA is suitable to distinguish between direct and indirect thyroid toxicity mechanisms.

    • Mouse liver effects of cyproconazole, a triazole fungicide: role of the constitutive androstane receptor.
    • Peffer, Moggs, Pastoor, Currie, Wright, Milburn, Waechter and Rusyn
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 99 : 1
    • Abstract

    Cyproconazole, a triazole fungicide, causes hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas in CD-1 mice at dose levels of 100 and 200 ppm. The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) has been shown to play a significant role in the overall mode of action for several nongenotoxic rodent carcinogens such as phenobarbital. The liver effects of dietary cyproconazole or phenobarbital were investigated after 2, 7, or 14 days in male CD-1, C57BL/6J, and C3H/HeNClrBR mice. Cyproconazole produced similar, dose-responsive effects in all three strains of mice, and the response was similar to that of phenobarbital. Subsequently, Car-null and wild-type male mice on a C3H/HeNClrBR background were administered 200 or 450 ppm cyproconazole, or 850 ppm phenobarbital for up to 7 days. In wild-type mice, 200 ppm cyproconazole caused liver hypertrophy, increased liver weight and cell proliferation, single-cell necrosis and fat vacuolation, effects generally similar to those caused by 850 ppm phenobarbital. Plasma cholesterol was decreased by both compounds, but cyproconazole had a greater effect. The higher dose (450 ppm) of cyproconazole caused similar changes, but greater evidence of liver damage was observed, including a large increase in plasma transaminases. Induction of CAR target genes Cyp2b10 and Gadd45beta was observed with both compounds, whereas the cell cycle regulatory gene Mdm2 was unaffected. In Car-null mice, the effects noted with either cyproconazole or phenobarbital were absent or greatly diminished. These experiments demonstrate that short-term liver effects of cyproconazole in mice are CAR-dependent and similar to those of phenobarbital, a known nongenotoxic rodent liver carcinogen.

    • Spatial distribution of CYP2B1/2 messenger RNA within the rat liver acinus following exposure to the inducers phenobarbital and dieldrin.
    • Dail, Burgess, Meek, Wagner, Baravik and Chambers
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 99 : 1
    • Abstract

    Traditionally, the liver has been considered a homogeneous organ, but literature suggests that the cytochromes P450 are differentially distributed among the hepatocytes and that the pattern of this distribution is altered by various xenobiotics. In this study, the CYP2B1/2 messenger RNA (mRNA) in the hepatocytes was compared following treatment of rats with either of two inducers, phenobarbital (PB), or dieldrin. Adult male Sprague-Dawley-derived rats were treated with either ip PB in saline at 80 mg/kg/day for 5 days or dieldrin in corn oil by oral gavage at 2.5 mg/kg/day for 13 days. Control rats received ip saline or po corn oil for the same time. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) followed by duplex quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR was used to measure the CYP2B1/2 mRNA produced in bands of hepatocytes isolated from three locations along the sinusoidal path. The amounts of mRNA present in whole liver subsamples were also analyzed. CYP2B1/2 enzyme activity was determined by assaying 16beta-hydroxytestosterone formation. Whole liver mRNA samples exhibited significant induction in CYP2B1/2 transcript levels: sixfold for PB and 2200-fold for dieldrin. All the LCM band samples also showed significant fold induction in CYP2B1/2 mRNA compared to controls. Dieldrin caused marked increases in CYP2B1/2 mRNA levels in the direction of blood flow through the acinus: periportal, 300-fold; midzonal, 600-fold; and centrilobular, 1700-fold. A different pattern of induction was observed in the PB-treated rats: periportal, 1800-fold; midzonal, 8800-fold; and centrilobular, 1600-fold. The present study indicates the differences in spatial responses that can be exhibited within the liver following exposure to various xenobiotics. It also indicates the importance of examining xenobiotic metabolism in the liver in light of its nonhomogeneous, zoned microenvironment.

    • Gene expression profiling and differentiation assessment in primary human hepatocyte cultures, established hepatoma cell lines, and human liver tissues.
    • Olsavsky, Page, Johnson, Zarbl, Strom and Omiecinski
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 222 : 1
    • Abstract

    Frequently, primary hepatocytes are used as an in vitro model for the liver in vivo. However, the culture conditions reported vary considerably, with associated variability in performance. In this study, we characterized the differentiation character of primary human hepatocytes cultured using a highly defined, serum-free two-dimensional sandwich system, one that configures hepatocytes with collagen I as the substratum together with a dilute extracellular matrix (Matrigeltrade mark) overlay combined with a defined serum-free medium containing nanomolar levels of dexamethasone. Gap junctional communication, indicated by immunochemical detection of connexin 32 protein, was markedly enhanced in hepatocytes cultured in the Matrigel sandwich configuration. Whole genome expression profiling enabled direct comparison of liver tissues to hepatocytes and to the hepatoma-derived cell lines, HepG2 and Huh7. PANTHER database analyses were used to identify biological processes that were comparatively over-represented among probe sets expressed in the in vitro systems. The robustness of the primary hepatocyte cultures was reflected by the extent of unchanged expression character when compared directly to liver, with more than 77% of the probe sets unchanged in each of the over-represented categories, representing such genes as C/EBPalpha, HNF4alpha, CYP2D6, and ABCB1. In contrast, HepG2 and Huh7 cells were unchanged from the liver tissues for fewer than 48% and 55% of these probe sets, respectively. Further, hierarchical clustering of the hepatocytes, but not the cell lines, shifted from donor-specific to treatment-specific when the probe sets were filtered to focus on phenobarbital-inducible genes, indicative of the highly differentiated nature of the hepatocytes when cultured in a highly defined two-dimensional sandwich system.

    • Uniform procedure of (1)H NMR analysis of rat urine and toxicometabonomics Part II: comparison of NMR profiles for classification of hepatotoxicity.
    • Schoonen, Kloks, Ploemen, Smit, Zandberg, Horbach, Mellema, Thijssen-Vanzuylen, Tas, van Nesselrooij and Vogels
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 98 : 1
    • Abstract

    A procedure of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) urinalysis using pattern recognition is proposed for early detection of toxicity of investigational compounds in rats. The method is applied to detect toxicity upon administration of 13 toxic reference compounds and one nontoxic control compound (mianserine) in rats. The toxic compounds are expected to induce necrosis (bromobenzene, paracetamol, carbon tetrachloride, iproniazid, isoniazid, thioacetamide), cholestasis (alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT), chlorpromazine, ethinylestradiol, methyltestosterone, ibuprofen), or steatosis (phenobarbital, tetracycline). Animals were treated daily for 2 or 4 days except for paracetamol and bromobenzene (1 and 2 days) and carbon tetrachloride (1 day only). Urine was collected 24 h after the first and second treatment. The animals were sacrificed 24 h after the last treatment, and NMR data were compared with liver histopathology as well as blood and urine biochemistry. Pathology and biochemistry showed marked toxicity in the liver at high doses of bromobenzene, paracetamol, carbon tetrachloride, ANIT, and ibuprofen. Thioacetamide and chlorpromazine showed less extensive changes, while the influences of iproniazid, isoniazid, phenobarbital, ethinylestradiol, and tetracycline on the toxic parameters were marginal or for methyltestosterone and mianserine negligible. NMR spectroscopy revealed significant changes upon dosing in 88 NMR biomarker signals preselected with the Procrustus Rotation method on principal component discriminant analysis (PCDA) plots. Further evaluation of the specific changes led to the identification of biomarker patterns for the specific types of liver toxicity. Comparison of our rat NMR PCDA data with histopathological changes reported in humans and/or rats suggests that rat NMR urinalysis can be used to predict hepatotoxicity.

    • Evaluation of felbamate and other antiepileptic drug toxicity potential based on hepatic protein covalent binding and gene expression.
    • Leone, Kao, McMillian, Nie, Parker, Kelley, Usuki, Parkinson, Lord and Johnson
    • Chem Res Toxicol
    • 20 : 4
    • Abstract

    Felbamate is an antiepileptic drug that is associated with minimal toxicity in preclinical species such as rat and dog but has an unacceptable incidence of serious idiosyncratic reactions in man. Idiosyncratic reactions account for over half of toxicity-related drug failures in the marketplace, and improving the preclinical detection of idiosyncratic toxicities is thus of paramount importance to the pharmaceutical industry. The formation of reactive metabolites is common among most drugs associated with idiosyncratic drug reactions and may cause deleterious effects through covalent binding and/or oxidative stress. In the present study, felbamate was compared to several other antiepileptic drugs (valproic acid, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin), using covalent binding of radiolabeled drugs and hepatic gene expression responses to evaluate oxidative stress/reactive metabolite potential. Despite causing only very mild effects on covalent binding parameters, felbamate produced robust effects on a previously established oxidative stress/reactive metabolite gene expression signature. The other antiepileptic drugs and acetaminophen are known hepatotoxicants at high doses in the rat, and all increased covalent binding to liver proteins in vivo and/or to liver microsomes from human and rat. With the exception of acetaminophen, valproic acid exhibited the highest covalent binding in vivo, whereas carbamazepine exhibited the highest levels in vitro. Pronounced effects on oxidative stress/reactive metabolite-responsive gene expression were observed after carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin administration. Valproic acid had only minor effects on the oxidative stress/reactive metabolite indicator genes. The relative ease of detection of felbamate based on gene expression results in rat liver as having potential oxidative stressor/reactive metabolites indicates that this approach may be useful in screening for potential idiosyncratic toxicity. Together, measurements of gene expression along with covalent binding should improve the safety assessment of candidate drugs.

    • Gene expression profiling of extracellular matrix as an effector of human hepatocyte phenotype in primary cell culture.
    • Page, Johnson, Olsavsky, Strom, Zarbl and Omiecinski
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 97 : 2
    • Abstract

    Previously, we demonstrated that primary cultures of rat hepatocytes evidence higher levels of differentiated function when cultured in the presence of a dilute overlay of extracellular matrix (Matrigel). In this investigation, we used DNA microarrays, quantitative RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and cell morphology analyses to evaluate the biological responses imparted by Matrigel overlays on primary cultures of human hepatocytes from five independent donors. Although interindividual variability in responses was evident, our results demonstrated that Matrigel additions typically improved hepatocyte morphology and differentiation character. Results from RNA-profiling experiments indicated that Matrigel additions enhanced hepatocyte RNA expression levels associated with a battery of differentiated features, to levels comparable to those seen in vivo, for genes such as the cytochrome P450s, solute carrier family members, sulfotransferases, certain nuclear transcription factors, and other liver-specific markers, such as albumin, transferrin, and response to the inducer, phenobarbital. In contrast, Matrigel additions were generally associated with reduced RNA expression levels for several cytokeratins, integrins, and a number of stress-related pathways. Decreases in integrin protein expression were similarly detected, although enhanced levels of the gap junction-associated protein, connexin 32, were detected in Matrigel-treated cultures. These data support the concept that ECM functions mechanistically to augment the differentiation character of primary human hepatocytes in culture by mediating a reduction in cellular stress response signaling and by enhancing gap junctional cell-cell communication.

    • DNA-damaging ability of isoprene and isoprene mono-epoxide (EPOX I) in human cells evaluated with the comet assay.
    • Fabiani, Rosignoli, De Bartolomeo, Fuccelli and Morozzi
    • Mutat Res
    • 629 : 1
    • Abstract

    Isoprene is produced in combustion processes and is widely used as an industrial chemical. It is a natural product emitted by plants and endogenously produced by humans and other mammals. Therefore, exposure to isoprene from both endogenous and exogenous sources is unavoidable and occurs during the entire human life. Based on evaluations of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), isoprene has been classified in Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans). In the present work, we have demonstrated, by use of the single-cell gel electrophoresis assay (SCGE or comet assay), that isoprene is able to induce DNA damage in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in the presence of metabolic activation. In addition, treatment of cells with the main isoprene mono-epoxide (EPOX I) induced time- and dose- dependent DNA damage in both PBMCs and human leukaemia cells (HL60). The metabolic activation system, represented by rat liver post-mitochondrial fractions (S9), was obtained from rats that had been treated - or not - with inducing agents such as phenobarbital and ethanol. The inclusion of S9 fractions (4mg protein/mL) from non-induced or phenobarbital-induced rats resulted in a statistically significant enhancement of isoprene genotoxicity. A different pattern was obtained by the addition of ethanol-induced S9, which appeared highly genotoxic by itself even in the absence of isoprene. Reducing the concentration of ethanol-induced S9 to 0.25mg protein/mL resulted in a considerable enhancement of isoprene genotoxicity. In the absence of clear epidemiological evidence of the carcinogenicity of isoprene in humans, the results of this study seem to be particularly important since they add new findings to support the classification of this chemical as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

    • Role of CYP2E1 and saturation kinetics in the bioactivation of thioacetamide: Effects of diet restriction and phenobarbital.
    • Chilakapati, Korrapati, Shankar, Hill, Warbritton, Latendresse and Mehendale
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 219 : 1
    • Abstract

    Thioacetamide (TA) undergoes saturation toxicokinetics in ad libitum (AL) fed rats. Diet restriction (DR) protects rats from lethal dose of TA despite increased bioactivation-mediated liver injury via CYP2E1 induction. While a low dose (50 mg TA/kg) produces 6-fold higher initial injury, a 12-fold higher dose produces delayed and mere 2.5-fold higher injury. The primary objective was to determine if this less-than-expected increase in injury is due to saturation toxicokinetics. Rats on AL and DR for 21 days received either 50 or 600 mg TA/kg i.p. T(1/2) and AUCs for TA and TA-S-oxide were consistent with saturable kinetics. Covalent binding of (14)C-TA-derived-radiolabel to liver macromolecules after low dose was 2-fold higher in DR than AL rats. However, following lethal dose, no differences were found between AL and DR. This lack of dose-dependent response appears to be due to saturation of bioactivation at the higher dose. The second objective was to investigate the effect of phenobarbital pretreatment (PB) on TA-initiated injury following a sub-lethal dose (500 mg/kg). PB induced CYP2B1/2 approximately 350-fold, but did not increase covalent binding of (14)C-TA, TA-induced liver injury and mortality, suggesting that CYP2B1/2 has no major role in TA bioactivation. The third objective was to investigate the role of CYP2E1 using cyp2e1 knockout mice (KO). Injury was assessed over time (0-48 h) in wild type (WT) and KO mice after LD(100) dose (500 mg/kg) in WT. While WT mice exhibited robust injury which progressed to death, KO mice exhibited neither initiation nor progression of injury. These findings confirm that CYP2E1 is responsible for TA bioactivation.

    • Structure-activity relationships for halobenzene induced cytotoxicity in rat and human hepatoctyes.
    • Chan, Jensen, Silber and O'Brien
    • Chem Biol Interact
    • 165 : 3
    • Abstract

    Halobenzenes are ubiquitous environmental contaminants, which are hepatotoxic in both rodents and humans. The molecular mechanism of halobenzene hepatotoxicity was investigated using Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) and accelerated cytotoxicity mechanism screening (ACMS) techniques in rat and human hepatocytes. The usefulness of isolated hepatocytes for prediciting in vivo xenobiotic toxicity was reassessed by correlating the LC(50) of 12 halobenzene congeners in phenobarbital (PB) induced rat hepatocytes in vitro determined by ACMS to the hepatotoxicities reported in vivo in PB-induced male Sprague-Dawely (SD) rats. A high correlation (r(2)=0.90) confirmed the application of hepatocytes as a "gold standard" for toxicity testing in vitro. QSARs were derived to determine the physico-chemcial variables that govern halobenzene toxicity in PB-induced rat, normal rat and human hepatocytes. We found that toxicity in normal rat and normal human hepatocytes both strongly correlate with hydrophobicity (logP), ease of oxidation (E(HOMO), energy of the highest molecular orbital) and on the asymmetric charge distribution according to arrangement of halogen substituents (dipole moment, mu). This suggests that halobenzene interaction with cytochrome P450 for oxidation is the metabolic activating path for toxicity and is similar in both species. In PB-induced rat hepatocytes the QSAR derivation is changed, where halobenzene toxicity strongly correlates to logP and dipole moment, but not E(HOMO). The changed QSAR suggests that oxidation is no longer the rate-limiting step in the cytotoxic mechanism when CYP2B/3A levels are increased, confirming CYP450 oxidation as the metabolic activating step under normal conditions.

    • A mode of action for induction of liver tumors by Pyrethrins in the rat.
    • Price, Walters, Finch, Gabriel, Capen, Osimitz and Lake
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 218 : 2
    • Abstract

    High doses of Pyrethrins produce liver tumors in female rats. To elucidate the mode of action for tumor formation, the hepatic effects of Pyrethrins have been investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley CD rats were fed diets containing 0 (control) and 8000 ppm Pyrethrins and female rats' diets containing 0, 100, 3000 and 8000 ppm Pyrethrins for periods of 7, 14 and 42 days and 42 days followed by 42 days of reversal. As a positive control, rats were also fed diets containing 1200-1558 ppm sodium Phenobarbital (NaPB) for 7 and 14 days. The treatment of male rats with 8000 ppm Pyrethrins, female rats with 3000 and 8000 ppm Pyrethrins and both sexes with NaPB resulted in increased liver weights, which were associated with hepatocyte hypertrophy. Hepatocyte replicative DNA synthesis was also increased by treatment with Pyrethrins and NaPB. The treatment of male and female rats with Pyrethrins and NaPB produced significant increases in hepatic microsomal cytochrome P450 (CYP) content and a marked induction of CYP2B-dependent 7-pentoxyresorufin O-depentylase and testosterone 16beta-hydroxylase activities. Significant increases were also observed in CYP3A-dependent testosterone 6beta-hydroxylase activity. The hepatic effects of Pyrethrins were dose-dependent in female rats with 100 ppm being a no effect level and on cessation of treatment were reversible in both sexes. This study demonstrates that Pyrethrins are mitogenic CYP2B form inducers in rat liver. The mode of action for Pyrethrins-induced rat liver tumor formation appears to be similar to that of NaPB and some other non-genotoxic CYP2B inducers of hepatic xenobiotic metabolism.

    • Orphan nuclear receptor constitutive active/androstane receptor-mediated alterations in DNA methylation during phenobarbital promotion of liver tumorigenesis.
    • Phillips, Yamamoto, Negishi, Maronpot and Goodman
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 96 : 1
    • Abstract

    Altered DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that plays a key role in the carcinogenesis process, and the nongenotoxic rodent hepatocarcinogen phenobarbital (PB) alters the methylation status of DNA in mouse liver. The constitutive active/androstane nuclear receptor (CAR) mediates half of the PB-induced hepatic gene expression changes and it is essential for liver tumor promotion in PB-treated mice. Here, a technique involving methylation-sensitive restriction digestion, arbitrarily primed PCR, and capillary electrophoresis was utilized to detect PB-induced regions of altered DNA methylation (RAMs) in CAR wildtype (WT) mice that are sensitive to promotion by PB and resistant CAR knockout (KO) mice. The CAR WT mice developed preneoplastic lesions after 23 weeks of PB treatment (precancerous) and liver tumors after 32 weeks, while the CAR KO mice did not develop tumors (Y. Yamamoto, et al., 2004, Cancer Res. 64, 7197-7200). Our goal was to discern those RAMs which are playing important roles in tumor formation by comparing the RAMs that form in sensitive and resistant groups of mice. Using this novel approach, 42 unique RAMs were identified in the precancerous as compared to the CAR KO, 23-week PB-treated tissue. Of these 42 RAMs, 14 carried forward to the tumor tissue, and additionally, 104 total unique RAMs were observed in the tumor tissue. These results indicate that there are unique RAMs occurring in the sensitive CAR WT mice and that a portion of these are seen in both the precancerous and tumor tissue. We hypothesize that these unique RAMs may be facilitating the tumorigenesis process, and these data support the view that DNA methylation plays a causative role in PB-induced tumorigenesis.

    • p53-independent induction of rat hepatic Mdm2 following administration of phenobarbital and pregnenolone 16alpha-carbonitrile.
    • Nelson, Bhaskaran, Foster and Lehman-McKeeman
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 94 : 2
    • Abstract

    Murine double minute 2 (Mdm2) negatively regulates p53 by mediating its ubiquitination and proteosomal degradation, and Mdm2 is recognized as a proto-oncogene. In the present study, hepatic gene expression patterns induced by phenobarbital (PB; 100 mg/kg) and pregnenolone 16alpha-carbonitrile (PCN, 100 mg/kg) were evaluated in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats using Affymetrix Rat Genome U34A gene arrays. In addition to changes in the hepatic expression of well-characterized drug-metabolizing enzymes, an increase in Mdm2 mRNA was observed with both compounds after single or repeat dosing (5 days). However, gene array analyses did not reveal changes in other p53-dependent genes, suggesting that induction of Mdm2 occurred in a p53-independent manner. Real-time polymerase chain reaction confirmed the microarray results, as PB increased Mdm2 mRNA approximately twofold after single or repeat doses in male and female rats. PCN treatment increased Mdm2 mRNA levels up to 5- and 12-fold in male and female rats, respectively, after 5 days of dosing. Hepatic Mdm2 protein levels were increased, and immunohistochemical evaluation of rat liver demonstrated nuclear localization of Mdm2, suggesting an interaction with p53. Consequently, p53 protein levels were also decreased by approximately 35 and 50% after 5 days of PB and PCN treatment, respectively. In direct contrast to rats, PB and PCN (100 mg/kg) did not induce Mdm2 mRNA in mouse liver after 5 days of dosing. Finally, although Mdm2 in mice and humans is reported to migrate electrophoretically as two proteins with molecular weights of 76 and 90 kDa, rat Mdm2 protein was detected primarily as a 120-kDa species. Follow-up experiments indicated that rat hepatic Mdm2 was subject to posttranslational modification with small ubiquitin-modifying (SUMO) proteins. Although the molecular mechanisms controlling Mdm2 induction by PB and PCN in rats have not yet been determined, these results suggest that early effects on cell cycle regulation, response to DNA damage or cell transformation may contribute to liver tumor development.

    • PCB 153, a non-dioxin-like tumor promoter, selects for beta-catenin (Catnb)-mutated mouse liver tumors.
    • Strathmann, Schwarz, Tharappel, Glauert, Spear, Robertson, Appel and Buchmann
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 93 : 1
    • Abstract

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous environmental toxicants which act as liver tumor promoters in rodents and can be classified as either dioxin-like or non-dioxin (phenobarbital [PB])-like inducers of cytochrome P-450. Since we have previously shown that tumor promotion by PB leads to clonal outgrowth of beta-catenin (Catnb)-mutated but not Ha-ras-mutated mouse liver tumors, we were interested to know whether the non-dioxin-like tumor promoter 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 153) shows the same selective pressure during tumor promotion. Male B6129SF2/J mice were given a single injection of N-nitrosodiethylamine (90 mg/kg body weight) at 9 weeks of age, followed by 39 weeks of treatment with PCB 153 (20 biweekly ip injections of 300 mumol/kg body weight) or corn oil as a control. Animals were killed 15 weeks after the last PCB 153 injection and liver tumors were identified by immunohistochemical staining of glutamine synthetase (GS) and analyzed for Catnb, Ha-ras, and B-raf mutations. Quantitative analyses revealed that GS-positive tumors were much larger and more frequent in livers from PCB 153-treated mice than in control animals, whereas GS-negative tumors were similar in both groups. Almost 90% (34/38) of all tumors from PCB 153-treated animals contained Catnb mutations, which compares to approximately 45% (17/37) of tumors in the control group. Ha-ras- and B-raf-mutated liver tumors were rare and not significantly different between treatment groups. These results clearly indicate that PCB 153 strongly selects for Catnb-mutated, GS-positive liver tumors, which is similar to the known action of PB, a prototypical tumor promoter in rodent liver.

    • Cytotoxicity of sanguinarine in primary rat hepatocytes is attenuated by dioxin and phenobarbital.
    • Dvor?k, Zdarilov?, Sperl?kov?, Anzenbacherov?, Sim?nek and Ulrichov?
    • Toxicol Lett
    • 165 : 3
    • Abstract

    Putative interactions between quaternary benzo[c]phenanthridine alkaloid sanguinarine (SA) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor/cytochrome P450 CYP1A (AhR/CYP1A) regulatory pathway are the subject of perpetual disputations. The role of CYP1A enzymes and AhR receptor in SA cytotoxicity was anticipated. In this paper, we tested, whether selected inducers of CYP enzymes modulate cytotoxicity of SA in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. Cells were challenged 48h with dioxin (TCDD; 5nM), phenobarbital (PB; 500microM) or DMSO prior to the treatment with SA. SA itself displayed time- and dose-dependent cytotoxicity as revealed by lactate dehydrogenase leakage into the medium and MTT test. Pre-treatment of hepatocytes with TCDD and/or PB significantly attenuated SA cytotoxicity, the effects being more pronounced at lower concentrations of SA and shorter periods of incubation. We assumed involvement of CYP1A enzymes in diminution of SA cytotoxicity. Surprisingly, co-treatment with SA and furafylline, an inhibitor of CYP1A enzymes, further attenuated SA cytotoxicity instead of expected reversal of this effect. We conclude that TCDD- and PB-inducible genes attenuate cytotoxicity of SA in rat hepatocytes. CYP1A enzymes are not involved in this attenuation, but they rather augment SA cytotoxicity. Future research should focus on analyses of the involvement of other CYPs in SA cytotoxicity and on identification of TCDD-/PB-controlled genes responsible for observed phenomenon.

    • Kinetics of acetaminophen glucuronidation by UDP-glucuronosyltransferases 1A1, 1A6, 1A9 and 2B15. Potential implications in acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity.
    • Mutlib, Goosen, Bauman, Williams, Kulkarni and Kostrubsky
    • Chem Res Toxicol
    • 19 : 5
    • Abstract

    The importance of uridine 5'-diphosphate-glucuronosyltranferases (UGT) 2B15 and other UGT enzymes (1A1, 1A6, and 1A9) in glucuronidating acetaminophen (APAP) is demonstrated. The kinetics and contributions of various UGTs in glucuronidating APAP are presented using clinically and toxicologically relevant concentrations of the substrate. UGT 1A9 and UGT 2B15 contribute significantly toward glucuronidating APAP when incubations were conducted in either phosphate or Tris-HCl buffers at 0.1 and 1.0 mM substrate concentrations. At 10 mM APAP, UGT 1A9 is a significant enzyme responsible for metabolizing APAP in either one of the buffers. UGT 1A1 is the next most important enzyme in glucuronidating APAP at this high substrate concentration. The contribution of UGT 1A6 at 10 mM APAP concentration became obscured by similar relative activities exhibited by UGTs 1A7, 1A8, and 2B7. These observations may reflect the differences in kinetic parameters for APAP glucuronidation by the individual UGTs. UGT 1A1 demonstrated Hill kinetics while UGT 1A9 displayed Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Substrate inhibition kinetics is observed with UGT 1A6, UGT 2B15, and human liver microsomes. The substrate inhibition is confirmed by employing stable isotope-labeled APAP as the substrate, while APAP glucuronide is used to test for inhibition of d4-APAP glucuronide. The in vitro hepatotoxicity caused by APAP in combination with phenobarbital or phenytoin is demonstrated in this study. The inhibition of APAP glucuronidation by phenobarbital leads to an increase in APAP-mediated toxicity in human hepatocytes. The toxicity to hepatocytes was further increased by coadministering APAP with phenytoin and phenobarbital. This synergistic increase in toxicity is postulated to be due to inhibition of UGTs (1A6, 1A9, and 2B15) responsible for detoxifying APAP through the glucuronidation pathway.

    • Different activation patterns of rat xenobiotic metabolism genes by two constituents of garlic.
    • Zhang, Noordine, Cherbuy, Vaugelade, Pascussi, Du?e and Thomas
    • Carcinogenesis
    • 27 : 10
    • Abstract

    Diallyl sulfide (DAS) and diallyl disulfide (DADS) are natural components that could account for the anticarcinogenic properties of garlic, at least in part, through the activation of xenobiotic detoxifying metabolism. The aim of this work was to describe the effect of DAS and DADS on xenobiotic-related gene expressions and to study molecular mechanisms relaying DAS effect. We describe the different effects of DAS and DADS on hepatic CYP2B1/2, CYP3A and epoxide hydrolase (EpH) mRNAs in rats, in terms of activation profile, doses and kinetics. The activation profile varied with the mode of chemical administration, i.e. gastric infusion or intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection. Using gastric infusion, DAS and DADS proved different efficiencies at enhancing the mRNA level of the three drug-metabolizing enzymes. After an i.p. administration, we observed a specific activation of CYP2B1/2 gene by DAS. The DAS-mediated CYP2B1/2 activation occurred at transcriptional level and through an okadaic acid-sensitive pathway. In rat livers, a short sequence (NR1) derived from the CYP2B1/2 promoter was stimulated by DAS and we observed a nuclear accumulation of a DNA-protein complex binding NR1. Because constitutively activated receptor (CAR) is a major transcription factor driving the xenobiotic-induced stimulation of CYP2B1/2 through NR1, the role of CAR as a preferential mediator of DAS effect is discussed.

    • A mode of action for induction of thyroid gland tumors by Pyrethrins in the rat.
    • Finch, Osimitz, Gabriel, Martin, Henderson, Capen, Butler and Lake
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 214 : 3
    • Abstract

    Prolonged treatment with high doses of Pyrethrins results in thyroid gland tumors in the rat. To elucidate the mode of action for tumor formation, the effect of Pyrethrins on rat thyroid gland, thyroid hormone levels and hepatic thyroxine UDPglucuronosyltransferase activity was investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley CD rats were fed diets containing 0 (control) and 8000 ppm Pyrethrins and female rats diets containing 0, 100, 3000 and 8000 ppm Pyrethrins for periods of 7, 14 and 42 days and for 42 days followed by 42 days of reversal. As a positive control, rats were also fed diets containing 1200-1558 ppm sodium Phenobarbital (NaPB) for 7 and 14 days. The treatment of male rats with 8000 ppm Pyrethrins, female rats with 3000 and 8000 ppm Pyrethrins and both sexes with NaPB resulted in increased thyroid gland weights, which were associated with follicular cell hypertrophy. Thyroid follicular cell replicative DNA synthesis was increased by treatment with Pyrethrins and NaPB for 7 and/or 14 days. Treatment with Pyrethrins and NaPB increased hepatic microsomal thyroxine UDPglucuronosyltransferase activity and serum thyroid stimulating hormone levels (TSH), but reduced serum levels of either thyroxine (T4) and/or triiodothyronine (T3). The effects of Pyrethrins in female rats were dose-dependent, with 100 ppm being a no-effect level, and on cessation of treatment were essentially reversible in both sexes. The concordance between the effects of Pyrethrins and NaPB suggests that the mode of action for Pyrethrins-induced rat thyroid gland tumors is similar to that of some other non-genotoxic inducers of hepatic xenobiotic metabolism.

    • The effect of fenbuconazole on cell proliferation and enzyme induction in the liver of female CD1 mice.
    • Juberg, Mudra, Hazelton and Parkinson
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 214 : 2
    • Abstract

    Fenbuconazole, a triazole fungicide, has been associated with an increase in the incidence of liver adenomas in female mice following long-term dietary exposure. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the mode of action for liver tumor formation by fenbuconazole is similar to that of phenobarbital. Treatment of CD1 mice with 0, 20, 60, 180 or 1300 ppm fenbuconazole for up to 4 weeks caused a dose-dependent increase in liver weight that was associated with centrilobular hepatocellular hypertrophy, cytoplasmic eosinophilia and panlobular hepatocellular vacuolation, as well as an initial increase in the cell proliferation labeling index. Fenbuconazole also caused a dose-dependent increase in liver microsomal cytochromes b(5) and P450 and the levels of immunoreactive CYP2B10 and its associated activity 7-pentoxyresorufin O-dealkylation (PROD). Treatment of mice with 1000 ppm phenobarbital elicited the same effects as treatment of mice with 1300 ppm fenbuconazole, except that phenobarbital was more effective than fenbuconazole at inducing PROD activity, even though fenbuconazole induced CYP2B10 to the same extent as did phenobarbital. This difference was attributed to the ability of fenbuconazole to bind tightly to CYP2B10 and partially mask its catalytic activity in liver microsomes, which is characteristic of several azole-containing drugs. All hepatocellular changes and induced enzyme activity returned to control levels within 4 weeks of discontinuing treatment with fenbuconazole or phenobarbital, indicating that the observed changes were fully reversible. We conclude that fenbuconazole is a phenobarbital-type inducer of mouse liver cytochrome P450, and the mode of action by which fenbuconazole induces liver adenomas in mice is similar to that of phenobarbital.

    • Phenobarbital induces progressive patterns of GC-rich and gene-specific altered DNA methylation in the liver of tumor-prone B6C3F1 mice.
    • Bachman, Phillips and Goodman
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 91 : 2
    • Abstract

    Altered DNA methylation contributes to tumorigenesis by affecting gene expression in a heritable fashion. Phenobarbital (PB) is a nongenotoxic rodent carcinogen which induces global hypomethylation and regions of hypermethylation in mouse liver. Liver tumor-sensitive (B6C3F1) and -resistant (C57BL/6) male mice were administered 0.05% (wt/wt) PB in drinking water for 2 or 4 weeks, and a 2-week recovery was included following each dosing period. DNA was isolated from liver (target) and kidney (nontarget) tissues. The methylation status of GC-rich regions of DNA was assessed via methylation-sensitive restriction digestion, arbitrarily primedpolymerase chain reaction, and capillary electrophoretic separation of products. PB-induced regions of altered methylation (RAMs) which carry forward from an early to a later time point are more likely to be mechanistically relevant as compared to those that do not. Twelve of 69 RAMs (17%) present in B6C3F1 liver at 2 weeks were also seen at 4 weeks, while only 1 of the 123 RAMs (< 1%) present in C57BL/6 liver was seen at 4 weeks. In the B6C3F1 mice, 57 unique (as compared to the C57BL/6) regions of altered hepatic methylation (RAMs), predominantly hypomethylation, were observed at 2 weeks, increasing to 86 at 4 weeks. Changes in methylation were largely reversible. Altered methylation in liver was highly dissimilar to that of kidney. Following 4 weeks PB, bisulfite sequencing revealed hypomethylation of Ha-ras in B6C3F1, but not C57BL/6, which correlated with increased gene expression. These data indicate that (1) progressive, nonrandom changes in methylation provide an epigenetic mechanism underlying the ability of PB to cause mouse liver tumorigenesis and (2) susceptibility to tumorigenesis is related inversely to the capacity to maintain normal patterns of methylation.

    • Diethanolamine and phenobarbital produce an altered pattern of methylation in GC-rich regions of DNA in B6C3F1 mouse hepatocytes similar to that resulting from choline deficiency.
    • Bachman, Kamendulis and Goodman
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 90 : 2
    • Abstract

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism regulating transcription, which when disrupted, can alter gene expression and contribute to carcinogenesis. Diethanolamine (DEA), a non-genotoxic alkanolamine, produces liver tumors in mice. Studies suggest DEA inhibits choline uptake and causes biochemical changes consistent with choline deficiency (CD). Rodents fed methyl-deficient diets exhibit altered methylation of hepatic DNA and an increase in liver tumors, e.g., CD causes liver tumors in B6C3F1 mice. We hypothesize that DEA-induced CD leads to altered methylation patterns which facilitates tumorigenesis. B6C3F1 hepatocytes in primary culture were grown in the presence of either 4.5 mM DEA, 3 mM Phenobarbital (PB), or CD media for 48 h. These concentrations induced comparable increases in DNA synthesis. PB, a nongenotoxic rodent liver carcinogen known to alter methylation in mouse liver, was included as a positive control. Global, average, DNA methylation status was not affected. The methylation status of GC-rich regions of DNA, which are often associated with promoter regions, were assessed via methylation-sensitive restriction digestion and arbitrarily primed PCR with capillary electrophoretic separation and detection of PCR products. DEA, PB, and CD treatments resulted in 54, 63, and 54 regions of altered methylation (RAMs), respectively, and the majority were hypomethylations. A high proportion of RAMs (72%) were identical when DEA was compared to CD. Similarly, 70% were identical between PB and CD. Altered patterns of methylation in GC-rich regions induced by DEA and PB resemble that of CD and indicate that altered DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism involved in the facilitation of mouse liver tumorigenesis.

    • Concordance of thresholds for carcinogenicity of N-nitrosodiethylamine.
    • Waddell, Fukushima and Williams
    • Arch Toxicol
    • 80 : 6
    • Abstract

    Three publications on the carcinogenicity of N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) in the livers of F-344 or Wistar rats were examined for concordance of the data. Two reports recorded the appearance of tumors after treatment with NDEA, although one used a different dosing schedule that included phenobarbital promotion. Two studied glutathione S-transferase-placental positive (GST-p+) foci in liver at several doses. One also analyzed DNA for adducts from NDEA. This analysis revealed that when the dose was calculated in molecules/kg/day, the thresholds for the incidence of liver tumors were different by about 1.5 orders of magnitude. But when the dose was calculated as the total cumulative dose, the thresholds for tumor appearance (about 10(20.3) molecules/kg) were in agreement within the error of calculation. Combining the data for GST-p+ foci revealed remarkable agreement between the two reports and a threshold for the appearance of these foci at about 10(19.5) molecules/kg of total cumulative dose of NDEA. DNA adducts fit an exponential curve better than a linear. GST-p+ foci and adducts from NDEA were observed at doses below the threshold dose for the appearance of tumors. These results suggest that: cumulative dose is a better metric than daily dose and that adducts and GST-p+ foci appear at doses below those at which tumors appear. These results further support the observations of the authors that thresholds for carcinogenicity of this genotoxic carcinogen exist and that adducts and altered foci appear at lower doses than the threshold for carcinogenicity.

    • Absence of liver tumor-initiating activity of kojic acid in mice.
    • Moto, Mori, Okamura, Kashida and Mitsumori
    • Arch Toxicol
    • 80 : 5
    • Abstract

    In order to evaluate the tumor-initiating activity of kojic acid (KA) in mouse liver, an in vivo initiation assay in liver was performed using partially hepatectomized mice. Male ICR mice were fed on a basal diet (BD) containing 0 or 3% KA for 4 weeks, followed by distilled water (DW) containing 0 or 500 ppm phenobarbital (PB) for 13 weeks. Two weeks after the treatment with PB, two-thirds partial hepatectomy was preformed in all mice in order to enhance the regeneration and proliferating activities of the hepatocytes. In microscopic examinations, no proliferative lesion was observed in any of the groups. There were no differences in the number of gamma-glutamyltransferase-positive cells, an expected marker for preneoplastic hepatocytes in mice, between the KA + DW and the KA + PB groups. In the immunohistochemical analyses of the proliferating activity of hepatocytes, significant increases in the labeling index of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were observed in the BD + PB and KA + PB groups as compared to the BD + DW group; however, no significant difference in the positivity of PCNA was observed between the BD + PB and the KA + PB groups. These results of the present study suggest the possibility that KA has no tumor-initiating activity in the liver of mice.

    • Mode of action in relevance of rodent liver tumors to human cancer risk.
    • Holsapple, Pitot, Cohen, Cohen, Boobis, Klaunig, Pastoor, Dellarco and Dragan
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 89 : 1
    • Abstract

    Hazard identification and risk assessment paradigms depend on the presumption of the similarity of rodents to humans, yet species specific responses, and the extrapolation of high-dose effects to low-dose exposures can affect the estimation of human risk from rodent data. As a consequence, a human relevance framework concept was developed by the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) and International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Risk Science Institute (RSI) with the central tenet being the identification of a mode of action (MOA). To perform a MOA analysis, the key biochemical, cellular, and molecular events need to first be established, and the temporal and dose-dependent concordance of each of the key events in the MOA can then be determined. The key events can be used to bridge species and dose for a given MOA. The next step in the MOA analysis is the assessment of biological plausibility for determining the relevance of the specified MOA in an animal model for human cancer risk based on kinetic and dynamic parameters. Using the framework approach, a MOA in animals could not be defined for metal overload. The MOA for phenobarbital (PB)-like P450 inducers was determined to be unlikely in humans after kinetic and dynamic factors were considered. In contrast, after these factors were considered with reference to estrogen, the conclusion was drawn that estrogen-induced tumors were plausible in humans. Finally, it was concluded that the induction of rodent liver tumors by porphyrogenic compounds followed a cytotoxic MOA, and that liver tumors formed as a result of sustained cytotoxicity and regenerative proliferation are considered relevant for evaluating human cancer risk if appropriate metabolism occurs in the animal models and in humans.

    • Molecular characterization of thyroid toxicity: anchoring gene expression profiles to biochemical and pathologic end points.
    • Glatt, Ouyang, Welsh, Green, Connor, Frame, Everds, Poindexter, Snajdr and Delker
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 113 : 10
    • Abstract

    Organic iodides have been shown to induce thyroid hypertrophy and increase alterations in colloid in rats, although the mechanism involved in this toxicity is unclear. To evaluate the effect that free iodide has on thyroid toxicity, we exposed rats for 2 weeks by daily gavage to sodium iodide (NaI). To compare the effects of compounds with alternative mechanisms (increased thyroid hormone metabolism and decreased thyroid hormone synthesis, respectively), we also examined phenobarbital (PB) and propylthiouracil (PTU) as model thyroid toxicants. Follicular cell hypertrophy and pale-staining colloid were present in thyroid glands from PB-treated rats, and more severe hypertrophy/colloid changes along with diffuse hyperplasia were present in thyroid glands from PTU-treated rats. In PB- and PTU-treated rats, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were significantly elevated, and both thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormone levels were significantly decreased. PB induced hepatic uridine diphosphate-glucuronyltransferase (UDPGT) activity almost 2-fold, whereas PTU reduced hepatic 5 -deiodinase I (5 -DI) activity to < 10% of control in support of previous reports regarding the mechanism of action of each chemical. NaI also significantly altered liver weights and UDPGT activity but did not affect thyroid hormone levels or thyroid pathology. Thyroid gene expression analyses using Affymetrix U34A GeneChips, a regularized t-test, and Gene Map Annotator and Pathway Profiler demonstrated significant changes in rhodopsin-like G-protein-coupled receptor transcripts from all chemicals tested. NaI demonstrated dose-dependent changes in multiple oxidative stress-related genes, as also determined by principal component and linear regression analyses. Differential transcript profiles, possibly relevant to rodent follicular cell tumor outcomes, were observed in rats exposed to PB and PTU, including genes involved in Wnt signaling and ribosomal protein expression.

    • Effect of Solanum trilobatum on the antioxidant status during diethyl nitrosamine induced and phenobarbital promoted hepatocarcinogenesis in rat.
    • Shahjahan, Vani and Shyamaladevi
    • Chem Biol Interact
    • 156 : 2-3
    • Abstract

    AIM: The methanolic extract of Solanum trilobatum (ST) is cytotoxic and exerts an inhibitory effect on tumor growth and in the present study, its role on the antioxidant status of N-diethylnitrosamine (DEN) induced and phenobarbital (PB) promoted hepatocarcinogenesis was assessed. METHODS: The protective role of ST on DEN induced and PB promoted hepatocarcinogenesis in Wistar rats was assessed from total nodular incidence, nodule multiplicity and volume of persistent nodules after an experimental period of 3 and 6 months following co-administration. The levels of thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS), glutathione (GSH) and activities of antioxidant enzymes were assessed in the haemolysate and liver of experimental animals to evaluate the antioxidant status. RESULTS: In DEN+PB+ST animals, the nodular incidence, multiplicity and volume reduced significantly compared to DEN+PB treated animals. In DEN+PB animals, the levels of TBARS increased significantly, whereas the levels of GSH and the activities of antioxidant enzymes-superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase and glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase showed significant alterations compared to control both in the haemolysate and liver. However, in DEN+PB+ST animals, the levels of TBARS decreased significantly and the levels of GSH increased with favorable alterations in the activities of antioxidant enzymes in both the haemolysate and liver. CONCLUSION: The present results suggest that ST exerts its chemopreventive effects by modulating the antioxidant status during DEN induced hepatocarcinogenesis.

    • Role for mitogen-activated protein kinases in phenobarbital-induced expression of cytochrome P450 2B in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes.
    • Joannard, Rissel, Gilot, Anderson, Orfila-Lefeuvre, Guillouzo, Atfi and Lagadic-Gossmann
    • Toxicol Lett
    • 161 : 1
    • Abstract

    Phenobarbital (PB) alters expression of numerous hepatic genes, including genes of cytochrome P450 2B1 and 2B2 (CYP2B). However, the intracellular mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. The present study investigated the involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in rat hepatocytes in primary culture. We showed that PB induced an early, dose-dependent activation of ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase), JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase) and p38 MAPKs. Regarding the PB (1mM) induction of CYP2B mRNA expression, while chemically inhibiting JNK had no effect, specific inhibitors of the ERK (U0-126) and p38 (SB-203580) pathways up- and down-regulated this expression, respectively. However, although such a regulation was confirmed when testing the effect of a dominant negative mutant of the ERK pathway on the CYP2B2 enhancer-promoter activity, no such transcriptional role was found with the p38 pathway. Moreover, upon arrest of transcription, the stability of CYP2B mRNA remained unaffected by SB-203580. In conclusion, we show that the ERK pathway negatively regulates CYP2B2 enhancer-promoter activity and that, despite p38 activation upon PB exposure, the sensitivity of CYP2B mRNA expression to SB-203580 appears to be unrelated to this kinase.

    • Sex difference in the principal cytochrome P-450 for tributyltin metabolism in rats.
    • Ohhira, Enomoto and Matsui
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 210 : 1-2
    • Abstract

    Tributyltin is metabolized by cytochrome P-450 (CYP) system enzymes, and its metabolic fate may contribute to the toxicity of the chemical. In the present study, it is examined whether sex differences in the metabolism of tributyltin exist in rats. In addition, the in vivo and in vitro metabolism of tributyltin was investigated using rat hepatic CYP systems to confirm the principal CYP involved. A significant sex difference in metabolism occurred both in vivo and in vitro, suggesting that one of the CYPs responsible for tributyltin metabolism in rats is male specific or predominant at least. Eight cDNA-expressed rat CYPs, including typical phenobarbital (PB)-inducible forms and members of the CYP2C subfamily, were tested to determine their capability for tributyltin metabolism. Among the enzymes studied, a statistically significant dealkylation of tributyltin was mediated by CYP2C6 and 2C11. Furthermore, the sex difference in metabolism disappeared in vitro after anti-rat CYP2C11 antibody pretreatment because CYP2C11 is a major male-specific form in rats. These results indicate that CYP2C6 is the principal CYP for tributyltin metabolism in female rats, whereas CYP2C11 as well as 2C6 is involved in tributyltin metabolism in male rats, and it is suggested that CYP2C11 is responsible for the significant sex difference in the metabolism of tributyltin observed in rats.

    • The spectrum of enzymes involved in activation of 2-aminoanthracene varies with the metabolic system applied.
    • Veres, T?r?k, T?th, Vereczkey and Jemnitz
    • Mutat Res
    • 586 : 1
    • Abstract

    The aim of this study was to estimate the involvement of cytochrome P450s (CYPs) in the metabolic activation of 2-aminoanthracene (2AA) by use of metabolic systems such as liver S9 or hepatocytes from untreated and beta-naphthoflavone (BNF)- or phenobarbital (PB)-treated rats. Metabolic activation was determined in the Salmonella reverse mutation assay (Ames test). Unexpectedly, both enzyme inducers, BNF and PB, significantly decreased the mutagenicity of 2AA activated by S9 fractions. 2AA mutagenicity was detected in the presence of cytochrome P450 inhibitors such as alpha-naphthoflavone (ANF), clotrimazole and N-benzylimidazole to study the contribution of CYP isoenzymes to the activation process. ANF significantly decreased the activation of 2AA by S9 from untreated rats. In contrast, ANF significantly increased the metabolic activation of 2AA by S9 from BNF- and PB-treated rats. The enhanced mutagenicity was not altered by co-incubation with clotrimazole and ANF. Pre-incubation of 2AA in the presence of N-benzylimidazole significantly increased the activation of 2AA by S9 from BNF- and PB-treated rats, which suggests that CYPs play minor role in 2AA metabolic activation by rat liver S9 fractions. In contrast with the results described above, BNF treatment of rats significantly enhanced the activation of 2AA by hepatocytes. ANF attenuated the extent of this activation suggesting that different enzymes play a major role in the activation processes in these metabolic systems. Our results indicate that identification of mutagenic hazard by use of the Ames test may depend on the metabolic system applied.

    • Current and emerging challenges in toxicopathology: Carcinogenic threshold of phenobarbital and proof of arsenic carcinogenicity using rat medium-term bioassays for carcinogens.
    • Fukushima, Morimura, Wanibuchi, Kinoshita and Salim
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 207 : 2 Suppl
    • Abstract

    For the last 25 years, Prof. Nobuyuki Ito and his laboratory have focused on the development of liver medium-term bioassay system for detection of carcinogens in F344 rats utilizing glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P)-positive foci as an end point marker. In this presentation, the outline and samples of medium-term bioassay systems were described. Furthermore, our data demonstrated the presence of a threshold for the non-genotoxic carcinogen, phenobarbital (PB), and the lack of linearity in the low-dose area of the dose-response curve, providing evidence for hormesis. In addition, the establishment and applications of multiorgan carcinogenicity bioassay (DMBDD model), used for the examination of the carcinogenicity of genotoxic and non-genotoxic chemicals, are discussed. Dimethylarsinic acid, one of organic arsenics, was found to be carcinogenic in rat bladder using DMBDD model and carcinogenicity test.

    • Hormesis and dose-response-mediated mechanisms in carcinogenesis: evidence for a threshold in carcinogenicity of non-genotoxic carcinogens.
    • Fukushima, Kinoshita, Puatanachokchai, Kushida, Wanibuchi and Morimura
    • Carcinogenesis
    • 26 : 11
    • Abstract

    Recently the idea of hormesis, a biphasic dose-response relationship in which a chemical exerts opposite effects dependent on the dose, has attracted interest in the field of carcinogenesis. With non-genotoxic agents there is considerable experimental evidence in support of hormesis and the present review highlights current knowledge of dose-response effects. In particular, several in vivo studies have provided support for the idea that non-genotoxic carcinogens may inhibit hepatocarcinogenesis at low doses. Here, we survey the examples and discuss possible mechanisms of hormesis using phenobarbital, 1,1-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane (DDT), alpha-benzene hexachloride (alpha-BHC) and other non-genotoxins. Furthermore, the effects of low and high doses of non-genotoxic and genotoxic compounds on carcinogenesis are compared, with especial attention to differences in mechanisms of action in animals and possible application of the dose-response concept to cancer risk assessment in humans. Epigenetic processes differentially can be affected by agents that impinge on oxidative stress, DNA repair, cell proliferation, apoptosis, intracellular communication and cell signaling. Non-genotoxic carcinogens may target nuclear receptors, cause aberrant DNA methylation at the genomic level and induce post-translational modifications at the protein level, thereby impacting on the stability or activity of key regulatory proteins, including oncoproteins and tumor suppressor proteins. Genotoxic agents, in contrast, cause genetic change by directly attacking DNA and inducing mutations, in addition to temporarily modulating the gene activity. Carcinogens can elicit a variety of changes via multiple genetic and epigenetic lesions, contributing to cellular carcinogenesis.

    • Phenobarbital and phenytoin increased acetaminophen hepatotoxicity due to inhibition of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases in cultured human hepatocytes.
    • Kostrubsky, Sinclair, Strom, Wood, Urda, Stolz, Wen, Kulkarni and Mutlib
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 87 : 1
    • Abstract

    Here we present a preclinical model to assess drug-drug interactions due to inhibition of glucuronidation. Treatment with the antiepileptics phenobarbital (PB) or phenytoin (PH) has been associated with increased incidence of acetaminophen (APAP) hepatotoxicity in patients. In human hepatocytes, we found that the toxicity of APAP (5 mM) was increased by simultaneous treatment with phenobarbital (2 mM) or phenytoin (0.2 mM). In contrast, pretreatment with PB for 48 h prior to APAP treatment did not increase APAP toxicity unless both drugs were present simultaneously. Cells treated with APAP in combination with PB or PH experienced decreases in protein synthesis as early as 1 h, ultrastructural changes by 24 h, and release of liver enzymes by 48 h. Toxicity correlated with inhibition of APAP glucuronidation. PB or PH also inhibited APAP glucuronidation in rat and human liver microsomes and expressed human UGT1A6, 1A9, and 2B15. As with intact hepatocytes, PB and PH were neither hydroxylated nor glucuronidated, suggesting the direct inhibition of UGTs. Our findings suggest that, in multiple drug therapy, an inhibitory complex between UGT and one of the drugs can lead to decreased glucuronidation and increased systemic exposure and toxicity of a coadministered drug.

    • Low dose DDT inhibition of hepatocarcinogenesis initiated by diethylnitrosamine in male rats: possible mechanisms.
    • Kushida, Sukata, Uwagawa, Ozaki, Kinoshita, Wanibuchi, Morimura, Okuno and Fukushima
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 208 : 3
    • Abstract

    Previously we reported a tendency for reduction of the development of glutathione-S-transferase placental form (GST-P) positive foci, recognized as preneoplastic changes in rat liver, by a low dose of 1,1-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane (DDT), which belongs to the same group of hepatic cytochrome P-450 inducers as phenobarbital and is itself a non-genotoxic hepatocarcinogen. In order to clarify the biological significance of this phenomenon, we investigated the reproducibility and changes in other parameters using an initiation-promotion model in which male F344 rats were treated with DDT at doses of 0, 0.005, 0.5, 500 ppm in the diet for 11 or 43 weeks after initiation of hepatocarcinogenesis with N-diethylnitrosamine (DEN). When 500 ppm DDT was applied, the formation of GST-P positive foci and tumor were markedly elevated. In contrast, induction of GST-P positive foci and liver tumors tended to be inhibited at a dose of 0.005 ppm, correlating with protein levels of cytochrome P450 2B1 and 3A2 (CYP2B1 and 3A2) and generation of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker of oxidative DNA damage. mRNA levels for 8-oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (OGG1), an 8-OHdG repair enzyme, connexin 32 (Cx32), a major component of Gap junctions, and hepatic nuclear factor 1alpha (HNF-1alpha), a Cx32 regulator, were inversely correlated with GST-P positive foci and tumor formation. These results indicate that low dose DDT may indeed exhibit inhibitory effects on chemically initiated-rat hepatocarcinogenicity, in contrast to the promotion observed with high doses, and that this is related to changes in metabolizing enzymes, cell communication, and DNA damage and its repair.

    • Effect of cytochrome P450 inhibitors and anticonvulsants on the acute toxicity of acrylonitrile.
    • Benz and Nerland
    • Arch Toxicol
    • 79 : 10
    • Abstract

    Some of the more striking expressions of toxicity are the tremors and seizures observed approximately 100 min after exposure of rats to an acutely toxic dose of acrylonitrile (AN). These early events are followed by a second wave of severe clonic convulsions that occur just prior to death at about 3-4 h. For AN, at least two chemical entities could produce these toxic effects, namely the parent AN molecule, the metabolically-released cyanide, or both. Which of these two agents is responsible for each of the symptoms of acute intoxication is not known. To help dissect the toxicity, it was anticipated that an effective inhibitor of the oxidative metabolism of AN to cyanide could help us to understand which toxic symptoms might be associated with each agent. Three inhibitors of oxidative metabolism were tested, namely SKF-525A, 1-benzylimidazole and metyrapone and one alternative substrate, ethanol. As compared to SKF-525A and metyrapone, both 1-benzylimidazole and ethanol were highly effective in reducing blood cyanide levels to insignificant levels in rats treated with an LD90 dose of AN. In addition, both agents abolished the early seizure activity, suggesting that this first phase of seizures is due to cyanide and not the parent molecule. 1-Benzylimidazole did not prevent the severe clonic convulsive phase preceding death, suggesting that these terminal convulsions are due to the toxic effects of the parent AN molecule. The CNS depressant ethanol was only partially effective in attenuating the terminal convulsions. None of these agents affected the incidence of AN-induced mortality, clearly establishing that, even in the absence of cyanide, the parent AN molecule is acutely toxic. The partial effectiveness of ethanol suggested that anticonvulsants might be of benefit. Both phenobarbital and phenytoin protected rats from both the early and terminal convulsions, while valproic acid was ineffective. These effects were not related to a reduction in blood cyanide levels but rather due to their inherent anticonvulsant activity.

    • Salmonella/human S9 mutagenicity test: a collaborative study with 58 compounds.
    • Hakura, Shimada, Nakajima, Sui, Kitamoto, Suzuki and Satoh
    • Mutagenesis
    • 20 : 3
    • Abstract

    A large and extensive body of data on the use of human liver S9 fractions in the Salmonella mutagenicity test (Ames test) is presented; the data were obtained from a collaborative study by JEMS/BMS (Bacterial Mutagenicity Test Study Group) members and the Human and Animal Bridging Research Organization (HAB). In this study, the mutagenicity of 58 chemicals, many of which were judged to be human carcinogens by the IARC, was determined by the Ames test (the pre-incubation method at 37 degrees C for 20 min) in the presence of a selected human liver S9 fraction with a high drug-metabolic activity or a pooled human liver S9 fraction with a moderate drug-metabolic activity. For reference, mutagenicity was also examined in the presence of a phenobarbital/5,6-benzoflavone-pretreated rat liver S9 fraction, which is normally used in mutagenicity testing systems. The bacterial test strains consisted of Salmonella typhimurium TA100, TA98 or YG7108. The data indicated that the mutagenicity of chemicals in the rat and human liver S9 fractions varied considerably, depending on the chemicals in question. In addition, a large inter-individual diversity in the mutagenic response to mutagens, depending on the chemical structures of the mutagens, was also demonstrated using two selected human S9 fractions. Most of the mutagens tested in this study (75%; 36 out of 48 compounds that were judged to be mutagenic in at least one S9 fraction) were less mutagenic in the presence of the two human S9 fractions than in the presence of the rat S9 fraction. On the other hand, the other compounds (25%), including some aromatic amines and nitrosamines, showed a more potent mutagenicity in the presence of either one of the two human S9 fractions than in the presence of the rat S9 fraction. These data strongly suggest that the use of human liver S9 fraction in mutagenicity testing systems may be useful for a better understanding of the mutagenic effects of chemicals on humans.

    • No increase of apoptosis in regressing mouse liver after withdrawal of growth stimuli or food restriction.
    • Bursch, Wastl, Hufnagl and Schulte-Hermann
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 85 : 1
    • Abstract

    In short-term in vivo experiments, liver growth and regression in mice with high (C3H/He), intermediate (B6C3F1) or low (C57BL/6J) susceptibility to hepatocarcinogenesis was compared. Liver growth was induced by dietary administration of phenobarbital (PB; 750 ppm) or nafenopin (NAF; 500 ppm). PB or NAF treatment for 7 days produced moderate increases of liver DNA (15% or 25-28%, respectively) along with pronounced hypertrophy. Liver growth was strongest in C3H/He mice. Cessation of PB or NAF treatment led to a rapid regression of liver hypertrophy. However, the enhanced hepatic DNA content persisted for at least 2 weeks in all mouse strains. Apoptosis was not increased at any time after cessation of treatment in all strains. Food restriction to 60% of the ad libitum intake did not amplify either regression of liver hyperplasia or the occurrence of apoptosis. No strain difference in the occurrence of apoptosis was detected. Mouse hepatocytes in liver regressing after mitogen withdrawal do not enter apoptosis as readily as rat hepatocytes.

    • Apoptosis in stages of mouse hepatocarcinogenesis: failure to counterbalance cell proliferation and to account for strain differences in tumor susceptibility.
    • Bursch, Chabicovsky, Wastl, Grasl-Kraupp, Bukowska, Taper and Schulte-Hermann
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 85 : 1
    • Abstract

    C3H/He and B6C3F1 show much higher liver cancer susceptibility than C57BL/6J mice. We studied the hypothesis that this difference might result from failure of apoptosis. Hepatocarcinogenesis was induced by a single dose of N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), followed by phenobarbital (PB) for up to 90 weeks. We observed (1) earlier appearance of putative preneoplastic foci (PPF), hepatocellular adenoma (HCA), and carcinoma (HCC) in C3H/He than in C57Bl/6J mice and (2) an increase of hepatocellular DNA synthesis in C3H/He and C57Bl/6J mice, compared to normal liver, via PPF and HCA to HCC. PB enhanced DNA synthesis and growth of PPF, in the C3H/He strain only, and of HCA and HCC of both strains. Apoptoses were rare in unaltered livers as well as in preneoplastic lesions, but tended to increase in HCA and HCC of both strains. PB lowered apoptotic activity in PPF of C3H/He mice, but enhanced it in HCA and HCC of C57Bl/6J mice at late stages. In conclusion, the strain difference in growth rates of PPF and tumors is largely determined by higher rates of cell proliferation in C3H/He mice, with and without promotion by PB. Moreover, in C57Bl/6J mice the promoting effect of PB was restricted to HCA and HCC and was not seen in PPF. Apoptosis was generally low and was not a major cause of the strain difference in tumor susceptibility. In contrast with rat liver, inhibition of apoptosis appears to be a minor determinant of tumor promotion in mice.

    • Evaluation of mechanisms inducing thyroid toxicity and the ability of the enhanced OECD Test Guideline 407 to detect these changes.
    • Cunha and van Ravenzwaay
    • Arch Toxicol
    • 79 : 7
    • Abstract

    The OECD has developed an "enhanced Test Guideline 407" (TG 407) protocol for detecting endocrine effects during the course of a 28-day testing scheme. This protocol has gone through a validation process with (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic compounds and substances that affect the thyroid (thyroxine and propylthiouracil). This review investigates whether a 28-day testing scheme would show up alterations in the thyroid-related parameters of the "enhanced TG 407" (T3, T4, TSH, thyroid weight and histopathology), irrespective of the mode of action. For each mode of action, a generally accepted reference chemical was selected and an in-depth literature survey was carried out, and the chemical was evaluated for treatment-related changes of thyroid-dependent parameters. The following model chemicals were selected: ion perchlorate, blockage of iodine uptake; propylthiouracil, inhibition of thyroid hormone synthesis; excess of iodine, blockage of thyroid hormone release; pyrazole, thyroid cytotoxicity; minocycline, thyroid pigmentation; amiodarone, inhibition of TSH synthesis; diethylstilbestrol, competition for thyroid hormone binding globulin; selenium-deficient diet, inhibition of thyroxine deiodination; FD&C Red No. 3, inhibition of peripheral 5'-deiodinase; cadmium, lipid peroxidation; phenobarbital, increase in thyroxine conjugation and biliary excretion; temelastine, thyroxine accumulation. Test data for treatments lasting approximately one month were available for most of these model chemicals, and these demonstrated the expected thyroid-related changes. Thus, it can be concluded that a 28-day testing scheme allows for the detection of thyroid-disrupting chemicals. The literature data also were evaluated according to whether preference can be given to any of the thyroid-related parameters (thyroid/pituitary hormones, thyroid weight and histopathology) with regard to dose-related sensitivities. Due to different study designs (such as treatment duration, application mode, dose selection and parameters used), no clear picture emerged. Therefore, consideration should be given to all of these parameters, which should also help to define the mode of action. Overall, this literature review provides support for the contention that the newly developed "enhanced TG 407" test protocol is well suited to the detection of chemicals that affect the thyroid gland.

    • Modulation of liver tumorigenesis in Connexin32-deficient mouse.
    • Luebeck, Buchmann, Schneider, Moolgavkar and Schwarz
    • Mutat Res
    • 570 : 1
    • Abstract

    Connexin32 (Cx32) is the major gap junction forming protein in liver. Mice deficient in Cx32 demonstrate enhanced liver tumor formation, but are resistant to promotion of hepatocarcinogenesis by the model tumor promoter phenobarbital (PB). Here, we re-evaluate data on the number and sizes of glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase)-deficient liver lesions, both in Cx32-wildtype (WT) and Cx32-null male mice, obtained from two earlier experiments with similar protocols but paradoxical outcomes. In these experiments, enzyme-altered lesions were induced in mice of both strains by a single injection of N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) at age 6 weeks with a dose of 90 microg/g body weight (experiment 1) or at age 2 weeks with 10 microg/g body weight (experiment 2). Three weeks after DEN treatment groups of mice (sub-divided by Cx32 status) were also started on a PB-containing (0.05%) diet to test the responsiveness of the lesions to the tumor promoter. Additionally, for experiment 1, tumors were analyzed for the presence of Ha-ras and beta-catenin mutations. Based on the mutational analysis and the mathematical analysis of the G6Pase-deficient lesions, the two studies are consistent with the hypothesis of two types of lesions, 'late-type' lesions which are mainly characterized by beta-catenin mutations, and 'early-type' lesions that are frequently (but not exclusively) Ha-ras mutated. This concept affords an explanation as to the differential response seen in the two experiments with regard to Cx32 status and the role of PB as a tumor promoter (experiment 1) or inhibitor (as in experiment 2). Our findings also underscore the importance of the timing (6 weeks versus 2 weeks) of the genotoxic insult in relation to the developmental stage of the liver and the importance of clonal selection during tumor promotion.

    • Increased hepatobiliary clearance of unconjugated thyroxine determines DMP 904-induced alterations in thyroid hormone homeostasis in rats.
    • Wong, Lehman-McKeeman, Grubb, Grossman, Bhaskaran, Solon, Shen, Gerson, Car, Zhao and Gemzik
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 84 : 2
    • Abstract

    4-(3-pentylamino)-2,7-dimethyl-8-(2-methyl-4-methoxyphenyl)-pyrazolo-[1,5-a]-pyrimidine (DMP 904) is a potent and selective antagonist of corticotropin releasing factor receptor-1 (CRF1 receptor) with an efficacious anxiolytic profile in preclinical animal models. In subchronic toxicity studies in Sprague-Dawley rats, DMP 904 produced thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia, and a low incidence of follicular cell adenoma. The current investigations were designed to determine the mode of action by which DMP 904 disrupts thyroid homeostasis in male rats. Five-day treatment with DMP 904 (300 mg/kg/day) dramatically lowered serum thyroxine (T4) to levels below detectable limits (< 1 microg/dl) by 72 h, with concurrent decreases in triiodothyronine (T3, about a 70% decrease) and increases in thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH; about a three-fold increase). DMP 904 increased [125I]T4 total body clearance (Cl tb) (38.21 +/- 10.45 ml/h) compared to control (5.61 +/- 0.59 ml/h) and phenobarbital-treated rats (7.92 +/- 1.62 ml/h). This increase in Cl(tb) was associated with a significant increase in biliary clearance (Cl bile) of unconjugated [125I]T4 (nearly 80-times control rates) and increased liver:blood ratios of T4, suggestive of enhanced hepatic uptake of T4. A single dose of DMP 904 (200 mg/kg) increased mRNA levels of hepatic cytochrome P450s (CYP 3A1 and CYP 2B1) and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGT 1A1 and UGT 1A2). DMP 904 also induced mRNAs of the canalicular transporter, multi-drug resistance protein-2 (Mrp2) and sinusoidal transporters, organic anion transporting proteins (Oatp1 and Oatp2) within 24 h. Western blot analysis confirmed DMP 904 related increases in Oatp2 protein expression. Collectively, these data suggest that DMP 904 is an agonist of the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR) and that the decreased serum levels of T4 and T3 resulted from increased hepatobiliary clearance. However, DMP 904 is distinguished from other compounds associated with similar effects on thyroid hormone homeostasis because its effects were primarily related to increased biliary excretion of unconjugated T4.

    • The mutagenicity testing of tertiary-butyl alcohol, tertiary-butyl acetate and methyl tertiary-butyl ether in Salmonella typhimurium.
    • McGregor, Cruzan, Callander, May and Banton
    • Mutat Res
    • 565 : 2
    • Abstract

    Tertiary-Butyl alcohol (TBA), tertiary-butyl acetate (TBAc) and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) are chemicals to which the general public may be exposed either directly or as a result of their metabolism. There is little evidence that they are genotoxic; however, an earlier publication reported that significant results were obtained in Salmonella typhimurium TA102 mutagenicity tests with both TBA and MTBE. We now present results of testing these chemicals and TBAc against S. typhimurium strains in two laboratories. The emphasis was placed on testing with S. typhimurium TA102 and the use of both dimethyl sulphoxide and water as vehicles. Dose levels up to 5000 microg/plate were used and incubations were conducted in both the presence and absence of liver S9 prepared from male rats treated with either Arochlor 1254 or phenobarbital-beta-naphthoflavone. The experiments were replicated, but in none of them was a significant mutagenic response observed, thus the current evidence indicates the TBA, TBAc and MTBE are not mutagenic in bacteria.

    • An in vivo and in vitro comparison of CYP induction in rat liver and intestine using slices and quantitative RT-PCR.
    • Martignoni, de Kanter, Grossi, Mahnke, Saturno and Monshouwer
    • Chem Biol Interact
    • 151 : 1
    • Abstract

    Xenobiotics, including drugs, can influence cytochrome P450 (CYP) activity by upregulating the transcription of CYP genes. To minimize potential drug interactions, it is important to ascertain whether a compound will be an inducer of CYP enzymes early in the development of new therapeutic agents. In vivo and in vitro studies are reported that demonstrate the use of liver and intestinal slices as an in vitro model to predict potential CYP induction in vivo. Rat liver slices and intestinal slices were incubated, for 24 h and 6 h, respectively, with beta-naphthoflavone (betaNF), phenobarbital (PB) or dexamethasone (DEX). In an in vivo study, rats were treated with the same compounds for 3 days. In vivo and in vitro CYP mRNA levels were measured by using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In addition, CYP enzyme activities were determined in rat liver slices after 48 h incubation. In both rat liver and intestinal slices, betaNF significantly induced CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP2B1 mRNA levels. PB significantly induced CYP2B1. In liver slices a minor induction of CYP1A1 and CYP3A1 by PB was observed, whereas DEX significantly induced CYP3A1, CYP2B1 and CYP1A2 mRNA levels. The induction profiles (qualitative and quantitative) observed in vivo and in vitro are quite similar. All together, these data demonstrate that liver and intestinal slices are a useful and predictive tool to study CYP induction.

    • Evaluation of mutant frequencies of chemically induced tumors and normal tissues in lambda/cII transgenic mice.
    • Mirsalis, Shimon, Johnson, Fairchild, Kanazawa, Nguyen, de Boer, Glickman and Winegar
    • Environ Mol Mutagen
    • 45 : 1
    • Abstract

    Genomic instability has been implicated as an important component in tumor progression. Evaluation of mutant frequencies (MFs) in tumors of transgenic mice containing nontranscribed marker genes should be useful for quantitating mutation rates in tumors as the physiologically inactive transgene provides neither a positive nor a negative selective pressure on the tumor. We have conducted long-term carcinogenicity studies in lambda/cII transgenic B6C3F1 mice using a variety of genotoxic and nongenotoxic test agents and have evaluated the mutant frequencies in both tumors and normal tissues from these animals. Mice were administered diethylnitrosamine (DEN) as three intraperitoneal injections of 15 mg/kg; phenobarbital (PB) or oxazepam (OXP) provided ad libitum at 0.1% or 0.25% in the diet, respectively; DEN initiation plus PB in the diet; or urethane (UTH) provided ad libitum at 0.2% in the drinking water. Normal tissues and tumors were isolated at various times over a 2-year period and half of each tissue/tumor was evaluated histopathologically and the other half was evaluated for MF in the cII transgene. Approximately 20 mutants from each of 166 individual tissues (tumor and nontumor) were sequenced to determine whether increases in MF represented unique mutations or were due to clonal expansion. UTH produced significant increases in MF in normal liver and lung. DEN either with or without PB promotion produced significant increases in MF in liver and correction of MF for clonality produced little change in the overall MF in these groups. PB produced a twofold increase in liver MF over controls after 27 weeks of treatment, but a similar increase was not observed with longer dosing times; at later time points, the MF in the PB groups was lower than that of the control group, suggesting that PB is not producing direct DNA damage in the liver. OXP failed to produce an increase in MF over controls, even after 78 weeks of treatment. Selected cases of genomic instability were observed in tumors from all treatments except OXP, with individual liver tumors showing very high MF values even after clonal correction. One rare and interesting finding was noted in a single mouse treated with UTH, where a mammary metastasis had an MF approximately 10-fold greater than the parent tumor, with 75% of the mutations independent, providing strong evidence of genomic instability. There was no clear correlation between tumor phenotype and MF except that pulmonary adenomas generally had higher MFs than normal lung in both genotoxic and nongenotoxic treatment groups. Likewise, there was no correlation between tumor size and MF after correction for clonality. The results presented here demonstrate that individual tumors can show significant genomic instability, with very significant increases in MF that are not attributed to clonal expansion of a single mutant cell.

    • Oxidative stress in carcinogenesis. Correlation between lipid peroxidation and induction of preneoplastic lesions in rat hepatocarcinogenesis.
    • S?chez-P?ez, Carrasco-Legleu, Garc?-Cuellar, P?ez-Carre?, Hern?dez-Garc?, Salcido-Neyoy, Alem?-Lazarini and Villa-Trevi?
    • Cancer Lett
    • 217 : 1
    • Abstract

    Oxidative stress during carcinogen metabolism seems to participate in liver tumor production in the rat. N-diethylnitrosamine is an important carcinogen used in liver cancer animal models. This indirect alkylating agent produces DNA-ethyl adducts and oxidative stress. In contrast, N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea, a direct mutagen, which generates DNA-ethyl adducts, does not produce liver tumors in rat unless it is given under oxidative stress conditions such as partial hepatectomy or phenobarbital treatment. To gain insight into the relation between oxidative stress and hepatocarcinogenicity, the induction of preneoplastic liver lesions was compared among three different initiation protocols related to the initiation-promotion-resistant hepatocyte model. In addition, liver lipid peroxidation levels, determined as thiobarituric acid reactive substances were studied early during the initiation stage. Rats initiated with N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea, 25 days after treatment developed fewer and smaller gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase positive preneoplastic lesions than rats initiated with N-diethylnitrosamine. A pre-treatment with the antioxidant quercetin 1 h before N-diethylnitrosamine initiation, significantly prevented development of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase-positive lesions. Increased lipid peroxidation levels were induced with N-diethylnitrosamine from 3 to 24 h after initiation, while N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea did not induce increments, and importantly, pre-treatment with quercetin decreased lipid peroxidation induced by N-diethylnitrosamine. These results show correlation between lipid peroxidation and hepatocarcinogenicity and support the important role of oxidative stress on liver carcinogenesis.

    • The orphan nuclear receptor constitutive active/androstane receptor is essential for liver tumor promotion by phenobarbital in mice.
    • Yamamoto, Moore, Goldsworthy, Negishi and Maronpot
    • Cancer Res
    • 64 : 20
    • Abstract

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is known to progress through a step often called tumor promotion. Phenobarbital (PB) is the prototype of nongenotoxic cacinogens that promote HCC in rodents. The molecular target of PB to elicit the promotion has been the subject of intense investigations over the last 30 years since it was discovered. The nuclear receptor constitutive active/androstane receptor (CAR) is activated by PB as well as by various other xenobiotics such as therapeutic drugs and environmental pollutants. CAR activation results in the transcriptional induction of numerous hepatic genes including those that encode xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes such as a set of cytochrome P450s. In addition to PB, many CAR activators are nongenotoxic carcinogens, but the role of CAR in liver tumor promotion remains unexplored. Using Car(-/-) mice, we have here examined tumor promotion by chronic treatment with PB in drinking water after tumor initiation with a single dose of the genotoxic carcinogen diethylnitrosamine. None of the Car(-/-) mice developed either eosinophilic foci or advanced liver tumors, whereas all Car(+/+) mice developed HCC and/or adenoma by 39 weeks. The results indicate that CAR is the molecular target of promotion by PB and that activation of this receptor is an essential requirement for liver tumor development.

    • Effects of dioxane on cytochrome P450 enzymes in liver, kidney, lung and nasal mucosa of rat.
    • Nannelli, De Rubertis, Longo and Gervasi
    • Arch Toxicol
    • 79 : 2
    • Abstract

    The effect of acute and chronic dioxane administration on hepatic, renal, pulmonary and nasal mucosa P450 enzymes and liver toxicity were investigated in male rats. The acute treatment consisted of two doses (2 g/kg) of dioxane given for 2 days by gavage, whereas the chronic treatment consisted of 1.5% of dioxane in drinking water for 10 days. Both the acute and chronic dioxane treatments induced cytochrome P450 2B1/2- and P450 2E1-dependent microsomal monooxygenase activities (pentoxyresorufin O-depentylase and p-nitrophenol hydroxylase) in the liver, whereas in the kidney and nasal mucosa, only the 2E1 marker activities were enhanced. In addition in the liver, an induction of 2alpha-testosterone hydroxylase (associated with the constitutive and hormone-dependent P450 2C11) was also revealed, whereas the hepatic P450 4A-dependent omega-lauric acid hydroxylase was not enhanced by any dioxane treatment. These inductions were mostly confirmed by western blot analysis of liver, kidney and nasal mucosa microsomes. In the lung, no alteration of P450 activities was observed. To assess the mechanism of 2E1 induction, the hepatic, renal and nasal mucosa 2E1 mRNA levels were also examined. Following two kinds of dioxane administration, in the liver the 2E1 induction was not accompanied by a significant alteration of 2E1 mRNA levels, while both in the kidney and nasal mucosa the 2E1 mRNA increased about 2- to 3-fold, indicating an organ-specific regulation of this P450 isoform. Furthermore, dioxane was unable to alter the plasma alanine aminotransferase activity and hepatic glutathione (GSH) content, examined as an index of toxicity, when it was administered into rats with P450 2B1/2 and 2E1 preinduced by phenobarbital or fasting pretreatment. These results support the lack of or a poor formation of reactive and toxic intermediates during the biotrasformation of this solvent, even when its metabolism was enhanced by P450 inducers. The chronic administration of dioxane was also unable to induce the palmitoyl CoA oxidase, a marker of peroxisome proliferation, excluding this as a way to explain its toxicity. Thus, although the mechanism of dioxane carcinogenicity remains unclear, the present results suggest that the induction of 2E1 following a prolonged administration of dioxane might provide oxygen radical species, and thereby contribute to its organ-specific toxicity.

    • A beta-catenin-dependent pathway regulates expression of cytochrome P450 isoforms in mouse liver tumors.
    • Loeppen, Koehle, Buchmann and Schwarz
    • Carcinogenesis
    • 26 : 1
    • Abstract

    Phenobarbital (PB) is a model tumor promoter in the rodent liver. In the mouse, the promotional effect of PB results from a selective stimulation of clonal outgrowth of hepatocytes harboring activating mutations in the beta-catenin (catnb) gene. Glutamine synthetase (GS), a downstream target in the Wnt/beta-catenin/T-cell factor (TCF) signaling pathway, is strongly up-regulated in catnb-mutated mouse liver tumors and may serve as a marker for their identification. Here we show that the levels of several cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzymes are also altered in GS-positive liver tumors. Immunohistochemical and western blotting analyses demonstrated that GS-positive, catnb-mutated tumors showed levels of CYP1A, CYP2B, CYP2C and CYP2E1, which were similar or slightly enhanced in comparison with non-tumoral liver tissue. This contrasts with tumors without catnb mutations, which exhibited decreased levels of these CYP isoforms. Real-time RT-PCR revealed that the differences in CYP levels in the tumors corresponded to changes in the respective mRNAs. Mouse hepatoma cells were transiently transfected with an expression vector encoding an S33Y-mutated beta-catenin protein, which was functional with regard to transactivation of a beta-catenin/TCF-responsive (topflash) reporter construct. Co-transfected with luciferase reporter vectors containing either the regulatory upstream sequence of the CYP2B1 gene or three dioxin-responsive core elements were activated by S33Y-beta-catenin. These results indicate that mutation of catnb leads to transcriptional activation of CYP isoenzymes in mouse liver tumors. As CYPs are involved in both the activation and the inactivation of several clinically important anticancer drugs, our findings may be relevant for chemotherapy of human cancers, where activation of beta-catenin-dependent signaling by mutation of the gene or alternative mechanisms is frequently observed.

    • Role of cytochrome P4503A in cysteine S-conjugates sulfoxidation and the nephrotoxicity of the sevoflurane degradation product fluoromethyl-2,2-difluoro-1-(trifluoromethyl)vinyl ether (compound A) in rats.
    • Sheffels, Schroeder, Altuntas, Liggitt and Kharasch
    • Chem Res Toxicol
    • 17 : 9
    • Abstract

    The volatile anesthetic sevoflurane is degraded to fluoromethyl-2,2-difluoro-1-(trifluoromethyl)vinyl ether (FDVE) in anesthesia machines. FDVE is nephrotoxic in rats. FDVE undergoes glutathione conjugation, subsequent conversion to cysteine and mercapturic acid conjugates, and cysteine conjugate metabolism by renal beta-lyase, which is a bioactivation pathway mediating nephrotoxicity in rats. Recent in vitro studies revealed cytochrome P4503A-catalyzed formation of novel sulfoxide metabolites of FDVE cysteine-S and mercapturic acid conjugates in rat liver and kidney microsomes. FDVE-mercapturic acid sulfoxides were more toxic than other FDVE conjugates to renal proximal tubular cells in culture. Nevertheless, the occurrence and toxicological significance of FDVE sulfoxides formation in vivo remain unknown. This investigation determined, in rats in vivo, the existence, role of P4503A, and nephrotoxic consequence of FDVE conjugates sulfoxidation. Rats were pretreated with dexamethasone, phenobarbital, troleandomycin, or nothing (controls) before FDVE, and then, nephrotoxicity, FDVE-mercapturate sulfoxide urinary excretion, and FDVE-mercapturate sulfoxidation by liver microsomes were assessed. The formation of FDVE-mercapturic acid sulfoxide metabolites in vivo and their urinary excretion were unambiguously established by mass spectrometry. Dexamethasone and phenobarbital increased, and troleandomycin decreased (i) liver microsomal FDVE-mercapturic acid sulfoxidation in vitro, (ii) FDVE-mercapturic acid sulfoxide urinary excretion in vivo, and (iii) FDVE nephrotoxicity in vivo assessed by renal histology, blood urea nitrogen concentrations, and urine volume and protein excretion. Urine 3,3,3-trifluoro-2-(fluoromethoxy)propanoic acid, reflecting beta-lyase-dependent FDVE-cysteine S-conjugates metabolism, was minimally affected by the pretreatments. These results demonstrate that FDVE S-conjugates undergo P4503A-catalyzed sulfoxidation in rats in vivo, and this sulfoxidation pathway contributes to nephrotoxicity. FDVE S-conjugates sulfoxidation constitutes a newly discovered mechanism of FDVE bioactivation and toxicification in rats, in addition to beta-lyase-catalyzed metabolism of FDVE-cysteine S-conjugates.

    • Proteasome-dependent degradation of cytochromes P450 2E1 and 2B1 expressed in tetracycline-regulated HeLa cells.
    • Huan, Streicher, Bleyle and Koop
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 199 : 3
    • Abstract

    The degradation of ethanol-inducible cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) and phenobarbital-inducible cytochrome P450 2B1 (CYP2B1) expressed in tetracycline (Tc)-inducible HeLa cell lines was characterized. A steady-state