The Journal of Toxicological Sciences


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    ABSTRACT: Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a constitutively expressed molecular chaperone and plays an important role in the folding of client proteins with key regulatory roles in growth, survival, differentiation and metastasis. Because inhibition of Hsp90 degrades multiple oncogenic client proteins, it is considered to be an attractive anticancer therapy, and clinical trials of several Hsp90 inhibitors have been carried out. In the present study, two structurally distinct Hsp90 inhibitors, CH5164840 and CH5449302, were orally administered to beagle dogs to evaluate systemic toxicity. CH5164840 induced symptoms that suggest visual disorder, and ophthalmological observation and electroretinography (ERG) revealed loss of pupillary light reflex and abnormal waveforms, respectively. Histopathological examination showed changes in the photoreceptor cell layer and the outer nuclear layer of retina. On the other hand, while there were no clinical symptoms related to visual disorder, animals treated with CH5449302 showed similar abnormalities of ERG responses and histopathological changes in the photoreceptor cell layer and the outer nuclear layer of retina. The visual symptoms and abnormalities of ERG responses were noted at an earlier stage or lower dose than other toxicities in both compounds. Considering that two structurally distinct Hsp90 inhibitors induced a retinal toxicity in dogs after repeated administration, and that visual disorders were also reported in some clinical trials of Hsp90 inhibitors, it would seem highly likely that Hsp90 inhibition induces retinal toxicity. Also, our study indicated that a detailed ocular examination to evaluate the safety of Hsp90 inhibitors would be useful in both preclinical and clinical studies.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):59-69.
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    ABSTRACT: The psychoactive recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is widely abused. The fact that MDMA induces neurotoxic damage in serotonergic nerve endings is well known. However, the effects of MDMA on pregnant and neonatal animals remain unknown. Therefore, we studied the effects of gestational exposure to MDMA on birth, growth, and behavior of pups. Female BALB/c mice were orally administered either water (10 ml/kg) or MDMA (20 mg/10 ml/kg) from gestational day 1 to postnatal day (P) 21. MDMA did not affect the birth rate, but the survival rate of the pups significantly decreased. A significant reduction in body weight gain was observed in pups from MDMA-administered dams during P3-P21. Maternal MDMA treatment caused an attenuated cliff avoidance reaction and decreased motor function in the pups, as determined by the wire hanging test. These results suggest that MDMA treatment during pregnancy and lactation causes growth retardation and dysfunction of motor neurons in mouse pups.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):33-9.
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    ABSTRACT: To clarify the relationship between arginine metabolism and hepatic injury, metabolomic analysis was performed in rats treated with 3 representative hepatotoxicants, monocrotaline (MCT), concanavalin A (ConA), and α-naphthyl isothiocyanate (ANIT); or a myotoxicant, tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine (TMPD). A single dose of MCT, ConA, or ANIT dose-dependently induced hepatocellular necrosis accompanied by decreased blood arginine and increased blood alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and arginase. A close correlation was detected between arginine and ALT (r = -0.746, -0.795, -0.787 for MCT, ConA, ANIT, respectively) or between arginine and arginase (r = -0.605, -0.808, -0.672 for MCT, ConA, ANIT, respectively) in all three hepatic injury models. In contrast, neither hepatocellular necrosis nor alterations in arginine were found in the skeletal muscle injury model, although ALT was slightly increased. An in vitro assay revealed that blood samples obtained from ConA-treated rats transformed external arginine to ornithine, and the reaction was totally inhibited by an arginase inhibitor. These results suggest that blood arginase plays a crucial role in arginine metabolism associated with hepatic injury. In metabolomic analysis, nearly 450 endogenous metabolites were identified in blood obtained from all the models. Among the 13 metabolites involved in arginine metabolism, decreased arginine and increased ornithine occurred in common in the hepatic injury models, whereas citrulline and other metabolites were not altered. These results indicate that arginine metabolism, especially the arginine-to-ornithine pathway, is altered in association with acute hepatic injury. Furthermore, blood arginine and ornithine are possibly specific biomarkers for hepatic injury.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):41-50.
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    ABSTRACT: Sodium iron chlorophyllin (SIC), a water-soluble chlorophyll derivative, has been used as a food additive for green coloration. In the present study, a subchronic toxicity study of SIC was performed in male and female F344 rats with oral administration in diet at concentrations of 0%, 0.2%, 1.0%, and 5.0% for 13 weeks. No mortalities, abnormal clinical signs, and hematological changes were observed in any of the groups during the experiment. Significant reduction of body weight gain was noted in 5.0% males. In serum biochemistry, serum transferrin levels were significantly increased in 5.0% males and females. Relative spleen weights of both sexes were markedly reduced with 5.0% SIC as compared to the controls, and absolute weights of spleen were also significantly decreased in males. On histopathological assessment, diffuse hypertrophy of acinar cells in the parotid gland was observed in all examined 5.0% males and females, but not in the other groups. Based on the histopathology of the parotid glands, the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of SIC in the present study was estimated to be 1.0% (609 mg/kg bw/day for males and 678 mg/kg bw/day for females).
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):109-19.
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    ABSTRACT: The development of hepatitis is associated with the infiltration and activation of immune cells in liver. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) rich fish oil (FO) is used to prevent and treat inflammatory diseases. But, the effects of dietary FO on autoimmune hepatitis remain largely unknown. In this study, Concanavalin A (Con A) induced hepatitis was used to evaluate the actions of dietary FO. Unexpectedly, 2-week FO treatment had not shown any protection, on the contrary, exacerbated liver injury in this hepatitis model. The levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) statistically increased from 10,501 ± 2,154 and 30,394 ± 2,420 in low fat diet (LFD)/Con A group to 17,579 ± 693 and 49,439 ± 4,628 in FO/Con A group. Simultaneously, FO diet induced more necrotic liver tissues and apoptotic hepatocytes, and up-regulated the hepatic expression of TNF-α and IFN-γ after Con A challenge. Interestingly, FO promoted severe liver injury was accompanied by decreasing the percentage of CD4(+) T cell, NK1.1(+) cells and CD8(+) T cells in CD45(+) liver non-parenchymal hepatic cells (NPCs) through inducing apoptosis. Further experiments declared 2-week FO diet intake firstly increased the proportion of CD11b(+)Gr-1(hi) neutrophils in liver, but then dramatically expanded CD11b(+)Gr-1(int) inflammatory monocytes population after Con A administration. Collectively, our study indicated that high FO intake not only aggravated liver injury, but also altered the population of immune cells in liver. Thus, these results indicated that when dietary FO was used to benefit health in autoimmune diseases, its potential risks of side effect also need paying close attention.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):179-90.
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    ABSTRACT: Pau d'arco is a plant-derived traditional medicine that acts by poorly understood molecular mechanisms. Here, we studied the effect of pau d'arco on the cytoprotective transcription factor Nrf2. An aqueous extract of pau d'arco stimulated Nrf2-dependent gene expression and led to nuclear localization of Nrf2 in vitro. Chromatographic separation and mass spectrometry of the extract identified benzene trioles or benzene tetraoles within the active fractions. The extract stimulated the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase kinase (MEK)/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) pathway. The pharmacological inhibition of MEK, but not of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, glycogen synthase kinase-3 or phosphoinositide 3-kinase was required for the activation of Nrf2-dependent gene expression by pau d'arco, but not for the nuclear translocation of Nrf2. In vivo pau d'arco increased the expression of Nrf2-target genes in the intestine. The results suggest that the activation of Nrf2 could mediate beneficial effects of pau d'arco, in particular in the intestine.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):353-61.
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    ABSTRACT: Wistar Hannover rats have been utilized as one of major strains in regulatory toxicology studies. This study was performed to verify the appropriate age of male sexual maturity in the development and reproductive toxicity (DART) study in Wistar Hannover rats (RccHan:WIST) by comparing reproductive endpoints between 8, 10 and 12 weeks of ages. Although fertility showed a tendency toward decrease in 8-week-old males, copulation index was not different among three ages. Testis weights reached a plateau at 10 weeks of age, whereas weights of other reproductive organs developed until 12 weeks of age. Indices of spermatogenesis (sperm motility, number of sperm in the epididymis and testis and contents of morphologically abnormal sperm) showed age-related progress and did not fully develop except for 12-week-old. For histology, epididymal tubules in 8-week-old animals showed immaturity with tall epithelium. At cesarean section, dams mated with 8-week-old males showed high incidence of preimplantation loss and the number of live fetuses was less than 10. In conclusion, although reproductive performance attained maturity by age of 10 weeks, spermatogenesis was not fully established at 10-week-old, which could result in a low fertility index. Therefore, we recommend that Wistar Hannover male rats at 12-week-old or older are used to conduct DART study properly and evaluate any adverse effects on dams and embryo-fetal development.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):269-79.
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    ABSTRACT: We developed a new local lymph node assay (LLNA) that includes the elicitation phase termed LLNA:DAE for discrimination of borderline-positive chemicals as classified by the LLNA modified by Daicel based on ATP content (LLNA:DA) and for cross-sensitization testing. Although the LLNA:DA method could help identify skin sensitizers, some skin irritants classified as non-sensitizers by the LLNA were classified as borderline positive. In addition, the evaluation for the cross-sensitization potential between chemicals was impossible. In the LLNA:DAE procedure, test group of mice received four applications of chemicals on the dorsum of the right ear for induction and one application on the dorsum of the left ear for elicitation. Control group of mice received one chemical application on the dorsum of the left ear. We evaluated the sensitizing potential by comparing the weights of the lymph nodes from the left ears between the two groups. The results of using the LLNA:DAE method to examine 24 chemicals, which contained borderline-positive chemicals, were consistent with those from the LLNA method, except for nickel chloride (NiCl2). Two chemical pairs, 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) with 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) and hydroquinone (HQ) with p-benzoquinone (p-BQ), showed clear cross-sensitization with each other, while another chemical pair, DNFB with hexylcinnamic aldehyde (HCA) did not. Taken together, our results suggest that the LLNA:DAE method is useful for discriminating borderline-positive chemicals and for determining chemical cross-sensitization.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):147-61.
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    ABSTRACT: Parabens, which are a homologous series of esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid, have been used as preservatives in cosmetics, medicines and foods because of their antimicrobial activity. However, parabens in cosmetics have been suspected to cause allergic contact dermatitis. In this study, we examined paraben-induced histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells and skin reaction in guinea pigs using a series of 17 parabens with different alcohol side chains, ranging from methylparaben to dodecylparaben. Octylparaben showed the greatest histamine release-inducing activity from mast cells, and the activity was decreased in shorter- and longer-side-chain parabens. Octyl benzoate, octyl o-hydroxybenzoate and phenyloctane caused no significant degranulation of mast cells, whereas octyl m-hydroxybenzoate, octyl p-hydroxybenzoate and octyl phenol induced concentration-related degranulation. Metabolites of these parabens (p-hydroxybenzoic acid and alcohols) did not show histamine release-inducing activity. In the guinea pig skin reaction test, heptylparaben induced a typical strong skin reaction, while butylparaben induced a typical weak skin reaction, and methylparaben and dodecylparaben were inactive. Metabolites of parabens (p-hydroxybenzoic acid and alcohols) were also inactive. These results indicate that interaction of parabens with rat mast cells requires a minimum length and adequate lipophilicity of the alkyl side chain. Since metabolites of parabens were inactive, parabens appear to be direct-acting allergens.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):83-90.
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    ABSTRACT: There have been few neurobehavioral toxicology studies on newborn animals. Thus, we developed a mouse newborn behavioral testing method for evaluating the risk of neurotoxicity of environmental toxicants, by means of determining the newborn's motor activity applying the tare function of an analytical balance. Motor activities including crawling, pivoting, righting or tremors of mouse newborns were evaluated. Tremors of newborns of dams exposed to bisphenol A at 2, 20 or 200 µg/kg/day on days 5 through 18 of gestation were significantly increased when evaluated on postnatal day 1, as well as those of newborns exposed prenatally to diethylstilbestrol at 0.5 µg/kg/day. We suggest that our developed testing method may provide a useful addition to neurobehavioral assessment in very young rodents exposed to environmental hormone mimics.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):231-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Possible teratogenicity of 3 different asbestos (crocidolite, chrysotile and amosite) was assessed in CD1(ICR) mice. Dams on day 9 of gestation were given a single intraperitoneal administration at dose of 40 mg/kg body weight of asbestos suspended in 2% sodium carboxymethyl cellulose solution in phosphate buffered saline, while dams in the control group were given vehicle (10 ml/kg body weight). Dams and fetuses were examined on day 18 of gestation. To compare with the control group, the mean percentage of live fetuses in implantations in the group given crocidolite and the incidence of dams with early dead fetuses in the groups given chrysotile or amosite were increased. While no external or skeletal malformation was observed in the control group, the incidence of external malformation (mainly reduction deformity of limb) in the group given amosite, and the incidences of skeletal malformation (mainly fusion of vertebrae) in the all dosed groups were significantly increased. The result indicated that asbestos (crocidolite, chrysotile and amosite) have fetotoxicity and teratogenicity in mice.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):363-70.
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    ABSTRACT: We compared the cadmium (Cd) concentration in the liver and kidney of different strains of mice after exposure to 50 ppm Cd for 30 days via drinking water. Cd concentration in the liver and kidney of C57BL/6J mice were higher than those of 129/Sv and DBA/2 mice. Since orally ingested heavy metals are absorbed in the small intestine and then widely distributed to target tissues, microarray analyses were performed to compare the expression levels of transport-related genes in the duodenum between C57BL/6J mice and 129/Sv or DBA/2 mice. The expression levels of 9 and 11 genes were elevated more than 2.0-fold and 13 and 12 genes were reduced less than 0.5-fold in 129/Sv mice and DBA/2 mice, respectively. Among these low expressed genes, 10 genes (Slc2a2, Slc5a1, Slc16a2, Slc22a13, Slc22a18, Slc25a11, Slc36a1, Slco6c1, Abca3 and Abcd1) were common between the two types of strains. These results suggest that some of those genes might be involved in Cd absorption and its toxicity.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):173-7.
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    ABSTRACT: A widely-used plasticizer di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is known to induce apoptosis in neurons, although the mechanisms responsible for DEHP-induced apoptosis is not well explored yet. We recently showed that exposure to DEHP increases the expression of hemeoxygenase (HO)-1, an oxidative stress related enzyme, in the mice brain. In this study, we investigated whether HO-1 is involved in DEHP-induced apoptosis using a mouse neuroblastoma cell line Neuro-2a, which forcibly express SCAT3, a fluorescent indicator of caspase-3 activity. The doses of DEHP at 1, 10 or 100 µM were used in the present study to mimic the level of human exposure to DEHP. Live image analysis of SCAT3-expressing Neuro-2a cells revealed that caspase-3 activity in the cells was significantly increased by DEHP at 100 µM but not 1 or 10 µM. We measured HO-1 mRNA level in Neuro-2a cells exposed to DEHP and found significant increase in HO-1 mRNA level by DEHP at 100 µM but not 1 or 10 µM. Live image analysis of SCAT3-expresisng Neuro-2a cells was further performed to determine the effects of HO-1 siRNA in DEHP-induced apoptosis via caspase-3 activation. We found that knockdown of HO-1 gene nullifies the effects of DEHP to activate caspase-3. These results suggest that HO-1 is involved in DEHP-induced apoptosis. Moreover, this study demonstrates that high-dose DEHP exposure induces caspase-3-dependent apoptosis, which is at least partially mediated by the up-regulation of HO-1 gene, in Neuro-2a cells.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):217-29.
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-angiogenic drugs that target Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) signaling pathways caused hypertension as an adverse effect in clinical studies. Since the hypertension may limit the benefit provided for patients, the demand for non-clinical research that predicts the clinical risk of the hypertension has risen greatly. To clarify whether non-clinical research using rats can appropriately estimate the clinical risk of hypertension caused by VEGF signal inhibitors, we investigated the hemodynamic effects and pharmacokinetics (PK) of the VEGF signal inhibitors cediranib (0.1, 3, and 10 mg/kg), sunitinib (5, 10, and 40 mg/kg), and sorafenib (0.1, 1, and 5 mg/kg) in telemetered rats and examined the correlation between the non-clinical and the clinical hypertensive effect. The VEGF signal inhibitors significantly elevated blood pressure (BP) in rats within a few days of the initiation of dosing, and levels recovered after dosing ended. The trend of the hypertension was similar to that in clinical studies. We found that the AUC at which BP significantly increased by approximately 10 mmHg in rats was comparable to the clinical AUC at which moderate to severe hypertension occurred. These results represent correlations between the non-clinical and the clinical hypertensive effect of VEGF signal inhibitors, suggesting that non-clinical research using telemetered rats would be an effective approach to predict the clinical risk of hypertension caused by VEGF signal inhibitors.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):237-42.
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    ABSTRACT: Spontaneous multiple granulomas were present in the animal under the SPF condition and without chemical treatment, in a 19-week-old male Sprague-Dawley control-group rat. Here we describe multiple granulomas and prominent diffuse infiltration by eosinophils in the cecal submucosa, and arteritis in the mesenteric arteries. The multiple granulomas were characterized by central eosinophilic degeneration or necrosis, prominent eosinophils, many multi-nucleated giant cells and abundant fibroblasts. They were restricted to the cecal submucosa. The mesenteric arteritis consisted of fibrinoid necrosis of the intima and media, intense inflammatory cell infiltration and fibrosis in the arterial wall. An affected artery in the cecum was continuous with the mesenteric artery. The foregoing tissue changes in this rat correlate with the high absolute blood eosinophil count found in this animal.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):243-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and phenobarbital (PB) are cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A and CYP2B inducers, respectively, and have liver tumor-promoting effects in rats. In this study, we investigated the modifying effects on tumor promotion by I3C and PB co-administration. Six-week-old male F344 rats received a single intraperitoneal injection of N-diethylnitrosamine for initiation treatment. Two weeks after the initiation, rats were given no tumor-promoting agents (DEN alone), I3C (2,500 or 5,000 ppm in diet), PB (60 or 120 ppm in drinking water), or 2,500 ppm I3C + 60 ppm PB for 6 weeks. One week after the I3C/PB treatments, all animals underwent a two-thirds partial hepatectomy. The number and area of liver cell foci positive for glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P(+) foci) were not significantly fluctuated in the PB+I3C group in the isoadditive statistical model. On the contrary, the mRNA levels of Cyp2b1/2 and Nqo1 were suppressed and enhanced, respectively, in the PB+I3C group in the isoadditive model, but there was no enhancement in the microsomal reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance levels, and Ki-67(+) cell ratio in this group. The results suggest that the co-administration of I3C and PB causes no modifying effects in liver tumor promotion in rats.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):129-40.
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a pivotal event in the development of pulmonary fibrosis. We have previously reported that methotrexate (MTX)-induced alveolar epithelial cell injury followed by pulmonary fibrosis as a result of the recruitment and proliferation of myofibroblasts. However, there is no data concerning whether EMT occurs in MTX-induced pulmonary fibrosis. In the present study, therefore, we investigated the expression of EMT markers such as E-cadherin, α-SMA, and vimentin by immunofluorescence analysis in mouse lung tissues after administration of MTX. We found that vimentin and α-SMA-positive cells of the MTX-induced pulmonary fibrosis were increased; on the other hand, E-cadherin was decreased, indicating that epithelial cells act as the main source of mesenchymal expansion. These results exhibited the down-regulation of E-cadherin expression and the up-regulation of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in primary mouse alveolar epithelial cells (MAECs) and A549 cell lines. Additionally, MTX-induced A549 cells exhibited an EMT-like phenotype accompanied by the elevation of the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, as well as an enhancement of migration. All of these findings suggest that MTX-induced pulmonary fibrosis occurs via EMT.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):319-30.
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    ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Treg) play a role in suppression of immune response, including anti-tumor immunity. We have recently reported that treatment of naïve CD4 T cells with adenosine A2B receptor antagonist PSB603 under Treg-skewing conditions inhibits expression of Foxp3, a marker of differentiation to Treg, without blocking IL-2 production or CD25 expression, which are activation markers, in CD4 T cells. We hypothesized that PSB603 suppresses cancer growth and metastasis by inhibiting induction of Treg, thereby facilitating anti-tumor immunity. In this study, we first examined the effect of PSB603 on tumor growth in B16 melanoma-bearing C57BL/6 mice. Administration of PSB603 significantly suppressed the increase of tumor volume as well as the increase of Treg population in these mice. The populations of CD4 and CD8 T cells were higher and splenic lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity towards B16 melanoma was significantly increased in PSB603-treated mice. We confirmed that PSB603 did not reduce the viability of B16 melanoma cells in vitro. Moreover, we also examined the effect of PSB603 on tumor metastasis in pulmonary metastasis model mice intravenously injected with B16 melanoma cells. The metastasis was also suppressed in PSB603-treated mice, in which the population of Treg was significantly lower. Overall, our results suggest that A2B receptor antagonist PSB603 enhances anti-tumor immunity by inhibiting differentiation to Treg, resulting in a delay of tumor growth and a suppression of metastasis.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):191-8.

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