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Aberrant cell cycle regulation in rat liver cells induced by post-initiation treatment with hepatocarcinogens/hepatocarcinogenic tumor promoters

Kimura, Masayuki, Mizukami, Sayaka, Watanabe, Yousuke, Onda, Nobuhiko, Yoshida, Toshinori, Shibutani, Makoto
Experimental and toxicologic pathology 2016 v.68 no.7 pp. 399-408
acetaminophen, apoptosis, bioassays, carbadox, cell cycle, cell proliferation, genotoxicity, glutathione transferase, hepatocytes, hepatotoxicity, immunohistochemistry, liver, rats, ubiquitin
The present study aimed to determine the onset time of hepatocarcinogen/hepatocarcinogenic tumor promoter-specific cell proliferation, apoptosis and aberrant cell cycle regulation after post-initiation treatment. Six-week-old rats were treated with the genotoxic hepatocarcinogen, carbadox (CRB), the marginally hepatocarcinogenic leucomalachite green (LMG), the tumor promoter, β-naphthoflavone (BNF) or the non-carcinogenic hepatotoxicant, acetaminophen, for 2, 4 or 6 weeks during the post-initiation phase using a medium-term liver bioassay. Cell proliferation activity, expression of G2 to M phase- and spindle checkpoint-related molecules, and apoptosis were immunohistochemically analyzed at week 2 and 4, and tumor promotion activity was assessed at week 6. At week 2, hepatocarcinogen/tumor promoter-specific aberrant cell cycle regulation was not observed. At week 4, BNF and LMG increased cell proliferation together with hepatotoxicity, while CRB did not. Additionally, BNF and CRB reduced the number of cells expressing phosphorylated-histone H3 in both ubiquitin D (UBD)+ cells and Ki-67+ proliferating cells, suggesting development of spindle checkpoint dysfunction, regardless of cell proliferation activity. At week 6, examined hepatocarcinogens/tumor promoters increased preneoplastic hepatic foci expressing glutathione S-transferase placental form. These results suggest that some hepatocarcinogens/tumor promoters increase their toxicity after post-initiation treatment, causing regenerative cell proliferation. In contrast, some genotoxic hepatocarcinogens may disrupt the spindle checkpoint without facilitating cell proliferation at the early stage of tumor promotion. This suggests that facilitation of cell proliferation and disruption of spindle checkpoint function are induced by different mechanisms during hepatocarcinogenesis. Four weeks of post-initiation treatment may be sufficient to induce hepatocarcinogen/tumor promoter-specific cellular responses.