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Chem Res Toxicol. 2005 Apr;18(4):611-8.

Characterization of an acute molecular marker of nongenotoxic rodent hepatocarcinogenesis by gene expression profiling in a long term clofibric acid study.

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Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades, INSERM U370, 156 rue de Vaugirard, 75730 Paris Cedex 15, France.


Evaluation of the nongenotoxic potential early during the development of a drug presents a major challenge. Recently, two genes were identified as potential molecular markers of rodent hepatic carcinogenesis: transforming growth factor-beta stimulated clone 22 (TSC-22) and NAD(P)H cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYP-R) (1). They were identified after comparing the gene expression profiles obtained from the livers of Sprague-Dawley rats treated with different genotoxic and nongenotoxic compounds in a 5 day repeat dose in vivo study. To assess the potential of these two genes as acute markers of carcinogenesis, we investigated their modulation during a long-term nongenotoxic study in the rat using a classic initiation-promotion regime. Clofibric acid (CLO), which belongs to the broad class of chemicals known as peroxisome proliferators, was used as a nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogen. Male F344 rats were given a single nonnecrogenic injection of diethylnitrosamine (0 or 30 mg/kg) and fed a diet containing none or 5000 ppm CLO for up to 20 months. Necropsies of five rats per groups were performed at 18, 46, 102, 264, 377, 447 (control, DEN, and DEN + CLO rats), 524, and 608 days (for the CLO and control rats). Gross macroscopic and microscopic evaluation and gene expression profiling (on Affymetrix microarrays) were performed in peritumoral and tumoral liver tissues. Bioanalysis of the liver gene expression data revealed that TSC-22 was strongly down-regulated early in the study. Its underexpression was maintained throughout the study but disappeared upon CLO withdrawal. These modulations were confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. However, CYP-R gene expression was not significantly altered in our study. Taken together, our results showed that TSC-22, but not CYP-R, has the potential to be an acute early molecular marker for nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogenesis in rodents.

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