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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Mar 29;91(7):2616-20.

Formation of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified proteins in the renal proximal tubules of rats treated with a renal carcinogen, ferric nitrilotriacetate.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.


An iron chelate, ferric nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA), induces proximal tubular necrosis, a consequence of lipid peroxidation, that finally leads to a high incidence of renal adenocarcinoma in rodents. Lipid peroxidation as monitored by formation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and free 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) was observed in the kidney homogenates of rats treated with Fe-NTA. Based on the fact that HNE is capable of reacting with cellular proteins, we attempted to detect the localization of HNE-modified proteins in rat kidney tissues with an immunohistochemical procedure. By means of an immunohistochemical technique using polyclonal antibody against the HNE-modified proteins, it was shown that HNE-modified proteins are formed in the target cells of this carcinogenesis model. HNE-modified proteins were detected in the renal proximal tubules 1 hr after i.p. administration of Fe-NTA (15 mg of iron per kg). Intense positivity was found in the cells with degeneration. After 6 hr, the level of HNE-protein conjugates decreased due to the subsequent necrosis. The intensity of the immunochemical reaction with HNE-modified proteins increased in parallel with an increase in the amounts of thiobartituric acid-reactive substances and free HNE that were found. Furthermore, histochemical detection of aldehydes by cold Schiff's reagent demonstrated that location of aldehydes was identical to that of the HNE-modified proteins determined by immunohistochemical procedures. It would thus appear that the production of HNE, a genotoxic and mutagenic aldehyde, and its reaction with proteins may play a role in Fe-NTA-induced renal carcinogenesis.

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