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Chronobiol Int. 2011 May;28(5):458-70. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2011.569043.

Sex and dosing-time dependencies in irinotecan-induced circadian disruption.

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INSERM, UMRS 776 Rythmes biologique et cancers, Hôpital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.


Circadian disruption accelerates malignant growth; thus, it should be avoided in anticancer therapy. The circadian disruptive effects of irinotecan, a topoisomerase I inhibitor, was investigated according to dosing time and sex. In previous work, irinotecan achieved best tolerability following dosing at zeitgeber time (ZT) 11 in male and ZT15 in female mice, whereas worst toxicity corresponded to treatment at ZT23 and ZT3 in male and female mice, respectively. Here, irinotecan (50 mg/kg intravenous [i.v.]) was delivered at the sex-specific optimal or worst circadian timing in male and female B6D2F1 mice. Circadian disruption was assessed with rest-activity, body temperature, plasma corticosterone, and liver mRNA expressions of clock genes Rev-erbα, Per2, and Bmal1. Baseline circadian rhythms in rest-activity, body temperature, and plasma corticosterone were more prominent in females as compared to males. Severe circadian disruption was documented for all physiology and molecular clock endpoints in female mice treated at the ZT of worst tolerability. Conversely, irinotecan administration at the ZT of best tolerability induced slight alteration of circadian physiology and clock-gene expression patterns in female mice. In male mice, irinotecan produced moderate alterations of circadian physiology and clock-gene expression patterns, irrespective of treatment ZT. However, the average expression of Rev-erbα, Per2, and Bmal1 were down-regulated 2- to 10-fold with irinotecan at the worst ZT, while being minimally or unaffected at the best ZT, irrespective of sex. Corticosterone secretion increased acutely within 2 h with a sex-specific response pattern, resulting in a ZT-dependent phase-advance or -delay in both sex. The mRNA expressions of irinotecan clock-controlled metabolism genes Ce2, Ugt1a1, and Top1 were unchanged or down-regulated according to irinotecan timing and sex. This study shows that the circadian timing system represents an important toxicity target of irinotecan in female mice, where circadian disruption persists after wrongly timed treatment. As a result, the mechanisms underling cancer chronotherapeutics are expectedly more susceptible to disruption in females as compared to males. Thus, the optimal circadian timing of chemotherapy requires precise determination according to sex, and should involve the noninvasive monitoring of circadian biomarkers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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