Fundamental Toxicological Sciences

2024 - Vol. 11 No. 2

2024 - Vol. 11

Original Article
Activation of Akt–cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling as an adaptive response to an electrophilic metabolite of morphine Vol.11, No.2, p.79-85
Kohei Matsuo , Shigeru Yamano , Akira Toriba , Kimihiko Matsusue , Yoshito Kumagai , Yumi Abiko
Released: May 21, 2024
Abstract Full Text PDF[1M]

Morphinone (MO) is an electrophilic metabolite of morphine. Electrophiles can modify thiol groups of proteins, resulting in the activation of redox signaling pathways and toxicity. We have previously reported that the atmospheric electrophile, 1,4-naphthoquinone, and electrophilic organometallic compound, methylmercury, activate protein kinase B (Akt) signaling through modification of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted from chromosome 10 (PTEN), which is a negative regulator of Akt. In the present study, we examined whether MO activates Akt signaling. Exposure of HepG2 cells to MO enhanced translocation of Akt to the nucleus in a concentration-dependent manner. MO phosphorylated Akt and its downstream protein, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), and upregulated B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), an anti-apoptotic protein. An analogue of MO dihydromorphinone that was not electrophilic did not enhance the phosphorylation of Akt and CREB or expression of Bcl-2, suggesting the importance of electrophilicity of MO in activation of the cascade. Pretreatment of the cells with wortmannin suppressed MO-mediated phosphorylation of Akt and CREB and expression of Bcl-2, and enhanced MO-induced cytotoxicity, indicating that MO activates Akt–CREB–Bcl-2 signaling in HepG2 cells. This signaling pathway might be capable of modulating MO-mediated toxicity in cells.

Investigation of solvents that can be used as vehicles to evaluate poorly soluble compounds in short-term oral toxicity studies in rats Vol.11, No.2, p.69-78
Keigo Ikeda , Mami Kochi , Tomoaki Tochitani , Naohisa Umeya , Izumi Matsumoto , Yuta Fujii , Toru Usui , Izuru Miyawaki
Released: May 14, 2024
Abstract Full Text PDF[2M]

In non-clinical toxicity studies of orally dosed small molecule drugs, methyl cellulose (MC) is commonly used as the vehicle. It is well tolerated and easy to prepare. However, it is not suitable as the vehicle for all poorly soluble compounds. The objective of this study was to evaluate the no-observed-effect levels (NOELs) of solvents that are possible alternative vehicles for 2-week oral administration of poorly soluble drugs. Five animals/group were dosed once daily with 25 mg/kg/day MC 400 (0.5% MC, control group), up to 5,000 mg/kg/day of polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400), 5,500 mg/kg/day of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), 1,000 mg/kg/day of hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD), 250 mg/kg/day of polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), 600 mg/kg/day of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), 9,000 mg/kg/day of olive oil and sesame oil, and 600 mg/kg/day of lactic acid. Parameters evaluated included clinical signs, clinical pathology, organ weight, gross pathology, and histopathology. The NOELs were considered to be 1,250 mg/kg/day for PEG 400, 1,000 mg/kg/day for HP-β-CD, 250 mg/kg/day for Tween 80, 4,500 mg/kg/day for olive oil, 4,500 mg/kg/day for sesame oil, and 600 mg/kg/day for lactic acid. The NOELs of DMSO and SDS could not be determined, because rats dosed with DMSO or SDS showed DMSO-specific offensive odor or SDS-related significant irritant effects even at the lowest dose levels (DMSO, 1,100 mg/kg/day; SDS, 150 mg/kg/day). This study provides the NOELs of several solvents that could be used as vehicles in 2-week oral toxicity studies in rats.

Original Article
Effects of food restriction for 3 or 7 days on toxicity-related parameters in rats Vol.11, No.2, p.57-67
Naohisa Umeya , Kumiyo Okada , Naoe Nishimura , Izumi Matsumoto , Toru Usui , Izuru Miyawaki
Released: April 09, 2024
Abstract Full Text PDF[4M]

In toxicity studies performed during drug development, the secondary effects of decreases in food consumption that are not direct toxic effects may cause incorrect interpretations of toxicologic profiles. Although previous studies have characterized the effects of reductions in food intake on toxicological parameters in rats, these were conducted for ≥2 weeks, making it difficult to determine whether changes in toxicity-related parameters are secondary to a reduction in food intake or compound effects in the short-term studies conducted in the early stages of drug discovery. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of low food intake for 3 or 7 days on toxicity-related parameters. Male and female rats were fed ad libitum (control group) or at 80%, 60%, or 40% of the mean pre-measured food intake for each group for 3 or 7 days, and their general condition, body weights, water consumption, quantitative urinalysis parameter, hematology, blood chemistry, myelogram, organ weights, histopathology were evaluated. Similar to the previous studies of food restriction of ≥2 weeks, there were decreases in the reticulocytes and leukocytes on hematology and in erythroblasts and myelocytes on a myelogram, especially in their later stages of differentiation, after 7 days of food restriction. Furthermore, natriuresis, which develops in fasted humans, was also identified after 7 days of food restriction. The present study is the first to identify changes in toxicity-related parameters during short-term food restriction. The perspective obtained from this study should aid in the future interpretation of the toxic effects of compounds that cause reductions in food intake.