Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Carcinogenesis. 2002 Aug;23(8):1387-97.

Carcinogenicity of dimethylarsinic acid in male F344 rats and genetic alterations in induced urinary bladder tumors.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, Osaka City University Medical School, 1-4-3, Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585, Japan.


Arsenic is a well-documented human carcinogen, and contamination with this heavy metal is of global concern, presenting a major issue in environmental health. However, the mechanism by which arsenic induces cancer is unknown, in large part due to the lack of an appropriate animal model. In the present set of experiments, we focused on dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), a major metabolite of arsenic in most mammals including humans. We provide, for the first time, the full data, including detailed pathology, of the carcinogenicity of DMA in male F344 rats in a 2-year bioassay, along with the first assessment of the genetic alteration patterns in the induced rat urinary bladder tumors. Additionally, to test the hypothesis that reactive oxygen species (ROS) may play a role in DMA carcinogenesis, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) formation in urinary bladder was examined. In experiment 1, a total of 144 male F344 rats at 10 weeks of age were randomly divided into four groups that received DMA at concentrations of 0, 12.5, 50 and 200 p.p.m. in the drinking water, respectively, for 104 weeks. From weeks 97-104, urinary bladder tumors were observed in 8 of 31 and 12 of 31 rats in groups treated with 50 and 200 p.p.m. DMA, respectively, and the preneoplastic lesion, papillary or nodular hyperplasias (PN hyperplasia), was noted in 12 and 14 rats, respectively. DMA treatment did not cause tumors in other organs and no urinary bladder tumors or preneoplastic lesions were evident in the 0 and 12.5 p.p.m.-treated groups. Urinary levels of arsenicals increased significantly in a dose-responsive manner except for arsenobetaine (AsBe). DMA and trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO) were the major compounds detected in the urine, with small amounts of monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and tetramethylarsonium (TeMa) also detected. Significantly increased 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling indices were observed in the morphologically normal epithelium of the groups treated with 50 and 200 p.p.m. DMA. Mutation analysis showed that DMA-induced rat urinary bladder tumors had a low rate of H-ras mutations (2 of 20, 10%). No alterations of the p53, K-ras or beta-catenin genes were detected. Only one TCC (6%) demonstrated nuclear accumulation of p53 protein by immunohistochemistry. In 16 of 18 (89%) of the TTCs and 3 of 4 (75%) of the papillomas, decreased p27(kip1) expression could be demonstrated. Cyclin D1 overexpression was observed in 26 of 47 (55%) PN hyperplasias, 3 of 4 (75%) papillomas, and 10 of 18 (56%) TCCs. As a molecular marker of oxidative stress, increased COX-2 expression was noted in 17 of 18 (94%) TCCs, 4 of 4 (100%) papillomas, and 39 of 47 (83%) PN hyperplasias. In experiment 2, 8-OHdG formation in urinary bladder was significantly increased after treatment with 200 p.p.m. DMA in the drinking water for 2 weeks compared with the controls. The studies demonstrated DMA to be a carcinogen for the rat urinary bladder and suggested that DMA exposure may be relevant to the carcinogenic risk of inorganic arsenic in humans. Diverse genetic alterations observed in DMA-induced urinary bladder tumors imply that multiple genes are involved in stages of DMA-induced tumor development. Furthermore, generation of ROS is likely to play an important role in the early stages of DMA carcinogenesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk