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Free Radic Res. 2004 Aug;38(8):821-9.

Early differential gene expression of rat lung after exposure to paraquat.

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Department of Medical Toxicology, Kawasaki Medical School, 577 Matsushima, Kurashiki 701-0192, Japan.


Paraquat (PQ), a quaternary nitrogen herbicide, is highly toxic to humans and animals. Acute poisoning and death due to PQ exposure have been reported over the past few decades. Excessive production of oxygen free radicals has been proposed to play an important role in the pulmonary pathology. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the implications for genes that are regulated by oxidative stress at the early stage of PQ exposure in rat lungs. We performed differential display RT-PCR (DD-PCR) on total RNA extracted from rat lungs after injection of 20mg per kg body weight. The experimental DD-PCR conditions, primer length and annealing temperature, were adjusted to improve reproducibility, and 19 differentiated clones were isolated. Sequence analysis followed by conventional RT-PCR and real-time RT-PCR analyses were used to confirm the results. Four clones were finally determined to be significantly affected. These genes were mRNAs for plasma phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP), CL1BA protein, (latrophilin: LPH), and alphaII-spectrin as well as one unknown gene. We demonstrated the distribution of mRNA expression of one gene, LPH, in lung tissues. The present study suggests that 20mg per kg intraperitoneal PQ affects the expression of numerous genes in the lung at 3 h, the onset of pulmonary injury, and that the four genes specified may be major contributors to serious lung injury due to PQ exposure.

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