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Biomark Insights. 2008 Mar 28;3:191-201.

Time Dependent Gene Expression Changes in the Liver of Mice Treated with Benzene.

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  • 1Korea Institute of Toxicology, 100-Jang-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon-305-600, Korea.


Benzene is used as a general purpose solvent. Benzene metabolism starts from phenol and ends with p-benzoquinone and o-benzoquinone. Liver injury inducted by benzene still remains a toxicologic problem. Tumor related genes and immune responsive genes have been studied in patients suffering from benzene exposure. However, gene expression profiles and pathways related to its hepatotoxicity are not known. This study reports the results obtained in the liver of BALB/C mice (SLC, Inc., Japan) administered 0.05 ml/100 g body weight of 2% benzene for six days. Serum, ALT, AST and ALP were determined using automated analyzer (Fuji., Japan). Histopathological observations were made to support gene expression data. c-DNA microarray analyses were performed using Affymetrix Gene-chip system. After six days of benzene exposure, twenty five genes were down regulated whereas nineteen genes were up-regulated. These gene expression changes were found to be related to pathways of biotransformation, detoxification, apoptosis, oxidative stress and cell cycle. It has been shown for the first time that genes corresponding to circadian rhythms are affected by benzene. Results suggest that gene expression profile might serve as potential biomarkers of hepatotoxicity during benzene exposure.

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