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Toxicology. 2001 Dec 1;169(1):1-15.

The lung tumor promoter, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), causes chronic inflammation in promotion-sensitive BALB/cByJ mice but not in promotion-resistant CXB4 mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 80262, USA.

Erratum in

  • Toxicology 2002 Jul 1;176(1-2):159-61.


An inflammatory response accompanies the reversible pneumotoxicity caused by butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) administration to mice. Lung tumor formation is promoted by BHT administration following an initiating agent in BALB/cByJ mice, but not in CXB4 mice. To assess the contribution of inflammation to this differential susceptibility, we quantitatively characterized inflammation after one 150 mg/kg body weight, followed by three weekly 200 mg/kg ip injections of BHT into male mice of both strains. This examination included inflammatory cell infiltrate and protein contents in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 expression in lung extracts, and PGE(2) and PGI(2) production by isolated bronchiolar Clara cells. BAL macrophage and lymphocyte numbers increased in BALB mice (P<0.0007 and 0.02, respectively), as did BAL protein content (P<0.05), COX-1 and COX-2 expression (P<0.05 for each), and PGI(2) production (P<0.05); conversely, these indices were not perturbed by BHT in CXB4 mice. BALB mice fed aspirin (400 mg/kg of chow) for two weeks prior to BHT treatment had reduced inflammatory cell infiltration. Our results support a hypothesis that resistance to BHT-induced inflammation in CXB4 mice accounts, at least in part, for the lack of effect of BHT on lung tumor multiplicity in this strain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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