The Journal of Toxicological Sciences


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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: 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: 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: 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: Betel-quid use is associated with the risk of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the impact of arecoline on human hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in vitro and rat hepatic CYP enzymes, as well as the hepatic oxidative stress and liver injury of rats in vivo. The in vitro results indicated that arecoline hydrobromide (AH) has no significant effect on the activities of CYP2B, 2C9, 3A4, 1A2, 2E1 and 2D6 in human liver microsome (HLM). However, oral administration of AH at 4 and 20 mg/kg/d for seven consecutive days significantly increased the activities of rat hepatic CYP2B, 2E1, 2D, 3A, 2C and 1A2. In addition, AH at 100 mg/kg/d significantly increased the levels of ALT, AST and MDA, decreased the levels of SOD, CAT, GSH-Px and GSH, in rat liver. The in vivo induction of AH on rat hepatic CYP isoforms suggested that the high risk of metabolic interaction should be existed when the substrate drugs of the six kinds of CYP isoforms was administered in betel-quid use human. Furthermore, the in vivo results also suggested that AH-induced hepatoxicity should be associated with the induction of AH on rat hepatic CYP2E1 and 2B.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(4):609-14.
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    ABSTRACT: As drug-induced seizures have severe impact on drug development, evaluating seizure induction potential of candidate drugs at the early stages of drug discovery is important. A novel assay system using zebrafish has attracted interest as a high throughput toxicological in vivo assay system, and we tried to establish an experimental method for drug-induced seizure liability on the basis of locomotor activity in zebrafish. We monitored locomotor activity at high-speed movement (> 20 mm/sec) for 60 min immediately after exposure, and assessed seizure liability potential in some drugs using locomotor activity. However this experimental procedure was not sufficient for predicting seizures because the potential of several drugs with demonstrated seizure potential in mammals was not detected. We, therefore, added other parameters for locomotor activity such as extending exposure time or conducting flashlight stimulation (10 Hz) which is a known seizure induction stimulus, and these additional parameters improved seizure potential detection in some drugs. The validation study using the improved methodology was used to assess 52 commercially available drugs, and the prediction rate was approximately 70%. The experimental protocol established in this present study is considered useful for seizure potential screening during early stages of drug discovery.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(4):579-600.
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    ABSTRACT: One of the mechanisms of phototoxicity is photo-reaction, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation following photo-absorption. We focused on ROS generation and photo-absorption as key-steps, because these key-steps are able to be described by photochemical properties, and these properties are dependent on chemical structure. Photo-reactivity of a compound is described by HOMOLUMO Gap (HLG), generally. Herein, we showed that HLG can be used as a descriptor of the generation of reactive oxygen species. Moreover, the maximum-conjugated π electron number (PENMC), which we found as a descriptor of photo-absorption, could also predict in vitro phototoxicity. Each descriptor could predict in vitro phototoxicity with 70.0% concordance, but there was un-predicted area found (gray zone). Interestingly, some compounds in each gray zone were not common, indicating that the combination of two descriptors could improve prediction potential. We reset the cut-off lines to define positive zone, negative zone and gray zone for each descriptor. Thereby we overlapped HLG and PENMC in a graph, and divided the total area to nine zones with cut-off lines of each descriptor. The rules to prediction were decided to achieve the best concordance, and the concordances were improved up to 82.8% for selfvalidation, 81.6% for cross-validation. We found common properties among false positive or negative compounds, photo-reactive structure and photo-allergenic, respectively. In addition, our method could be adapted to compounds rich in structural diversity using only chemical structure without any statistical analysis and complicated calculation.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(4):655-64.
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    ABSTRACT: The widely used antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA) is known to exhibit teratogenicity in the form of a failure of the neural tube in humans. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are reported to be a promising cell source for evaluating chemical teratogenicity, because they are capable of reproducing embryonic developmental model and enable reduction in the number of experimental animals used. We previously investigated 22 genes for which expressions are altered by teratogens, specifically focusing on neural differentiation of mouse ESCs. In the present study, expressions of the investigated genes were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR and compared during differentiation of human ESCs into neurons with or without VPA. Under the conditions, almost all gene expressions significantly changed in VPA-containing culture. Specifically, in neural development-related genes such as DCX, ARX, MAP2, and NNAT, more than 2-fold expression was observed. The findings suggest that the genes focused on in this study may help to elucidate the teratogenic effects of VPA and might be a useful tool to analyze embryotoxic potential of chemicals in humans.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(3):383-90.
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    ABSTRACT: Professional exposures to respirable dusts from phosphate mines are associated with the development of an inflammatory response and airways diseases. This study was performed on 12 phosphate workers versus 8 unexposed controls, including smokers and non-smokers. It consisted of assessing the incidence of phosphate dusts exposure associated or not with smoking on the plasmatic inflammatory status of phosphate mine workers versus controls. The following parameters were studied: hematological profile and plasma level of seven cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, tumor necrosis Factor (TNF-α), macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP-1β)) and two eicosanoids (leucotriene B-4 (LTB-4) and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15(S)-HETE)) measured by a multiplexed flow cytometric method (CBA: Cytometric Bead Array) or ELISA. In phosphate workers, mainly smokers, the level of white blood cells (WBCs) and lymphocytes (LYM) was significantly higher as compared with controls. This was associated with enhanced levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MIP-1β, and LTB-4. In smokers (including phosphate mine workers and controls), the level of LYM was also significantly higher than in controls. Based on a logistic regression analysis, smoker phosphate mine workers have a higher relative risk than controls to have an increase concentration of some cytokines, especially IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, and MIP-1β. Moreover, the combined effect of smoking and phosphate dusts exposure increases the level of leucocytes as well as the concentration of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MIP1-β, and LTB-4. The present study demonstrates that phosphate dusts are able to trigger a systemic inflammatory reaction characterized by enhanced levels of circulating immunocompetent cells, plasmatic cytokines and eicosanoids, and it establishes that these side effects are enhanced by smoking.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(3):465-74.
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    ABSTRACT: Deregulated apoptosis has been associated with many lung diseases. Although many studies have reported the apoptotic effects exhibited by silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) in various circumstances, the apoptosis mechanism of Ag-NPs is unclear. We investigated oxidative stress and apoptosis in human normal bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells to elucidate the role of p53 in apoptosis by Ag-NPs. First, dispersion and stability of Ag-NPs improved using bronchial epithelial cell growth medium with 5% fetal bovine serum. Then, we observed oxidative stress in BEAS-2B cells exposed to Ag-NPs. Second, we carried out a cell death assay to measure DNA fragmentation as a biomarker of apoptosis. BEAS-2B cells were treated with p53-specific short interfering RNA (siRNA) or p53 inhibitor (pifithrin-α) to investigate whether p53 is involved in apoptosis by Ag-NPs. As a result, Ag-NPs significantly enhanced DNA fragmentation dose-dependently and treatment with p53 siRNA or pifithrin-α prevented DNA fragmentation. We also found that apoptosis-related genes (caspase-3, Bax, and Bcl-2) were regulated by Ag-NPs, which was detected by mRNA and protein levels. These results suggest that Ag-NPs induced p53-mediated apoptosis in BEAS-2B cells. Our findings may contribute to understanding the potential roles of Ag-NPs in pulmonary disease.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(3):401-12.
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to environmental neurotoxic chemicals both in utero and during the early postnatal period can cause neurodevelopmental disorders. To evaluate the disruption of neurodevelopmental programming, we previously established an in vitro neurosphere assay system using rat mesencephalic neural stem cells that can be used to evaluate. Here, we extended the assay system to examine the neurodevelopmental toxicity of the endocrine disruptors butyl benzyl phthalate, di-n-butyl phthalate, dicyclohexyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, di(2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate, di-n-pentyl phthalate, and dihexyl phthalate at a range of concentrations (0-100 μM). All phthalates tested inhibited cell migration with a linear or non-linear range of concentrations when comparing migration distance to the logarithm of the phthalate concentrations. On the other hand, some, but not all, phthalates decreased the number of proliferating cells. Apoptotic cells were not observed upon phthalate exposure under any of the conditions tested, whereas the dopaminergic toxin rotenone induced significant apoptosis. Thus, we were able to classify phthalate toxicity based on cell migration and cell proliferation using the in vitro neurosphere assay.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):25-32.
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke induces skeletal muscle wasting by a mechanism not yet fully elucidated. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) in the skeletal muscles are useful energy sources during exercise or systemic stresses. We investigated the relationship between skeletal muscle wasting caused by cigarette smoke and changes in BCAA levels in the plasma and skeletal muscles of rats. Furthermore, the effects of BCAA-rich diet on muscle wasting caused by cigarette smoke were also investigated. Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats that were fed with a control or a BCAA-rich diet were exposed to cigarette smoke for four weeks. After the exposure, the skeletal muscle weight and BCAA levels in plasma and the skeletal muscles were measured. Cigarette smoke significantly decreased the skeletal muscle weight and BCAA levels in both plasma and skeletal muscles, while a BCAA-rich diet increased the skeletal muscle weight and BCAA levels in both plasma and skeletal muscles that had decreased by cigarette smoke exposure. In conclusion, skeletal muscle wasting caused by cigarette smoke was related to the decrease of BCAA levels in the skeletal muscles, while a BCAA-rich diet may improve cases of cigarette smoke-induced skeletal muscle wasting.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):331-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Arsine (AsH3) is used in many industries, but there is insufficient knowledge about the potential for percutaneous absorption. In order to examine possible percutaneous absorption of arsine, we conducted inhalation studies. Arsine was generated by reducing arsenic trioxide with NaBH4. Male 5-week-old Hos:HR-1 hairless mice were subjected to a single percutaneous exposure or whole-body inhalation exposure of ca. 300 ppm arsine for 5 min. The examination was performed 0-6 hr after the exposure. Total arsenic in whole blood and hematocrit (Ht) values were measured. Generation of an arsenic-hemoglobin (As-Hb) adduct in the blood was detected using high-performance liquid chromatography with an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (HPLC-ICP-MS). Ht values in the inhalation group significantly decreased after 3 hr, but those in the percutaneous exposure group did not. Total arsenic in the inhalation group was 9.0-14.2 mg/l, which was significantly higher than that in the percutaneous group. The As-Hb adduct was detected only in mice in the inhalation group. Histopathological changes were noted only in the inhalation group, with marked deposition of eosinophilic globules in the proximal convoluted tubules of the kidneys, the Kupffer cells of the liver, and the red pulp in the spleen, but not in the lungs. Immunohistochemically, these eosinophilic globules were stained positively by hemoglobin (Hb) antibody. In the present study, arsine-induced hemolysis and deposition of Hb occurred in the kidney via the inhalation route but not via percutaneous exposure. The presence of As-Hb adduct may be a useful indicator for confirming arsine poisoning.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):301-10.
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    ABSTRACT: Toxic chemicals often induce reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although one of the most abundant ROS-sensitive proteins is in the peroxiredoxin (Prx) family, the function of Prx proteins is poorly understood because they are inactivated under high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Like mammalian cells, the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae possesses multiple Prx proteins. Among the five Prx family proteins, Tsa1 and Ahp1 have the highest and second-highest expression levels, respectively. Here, we focused on a previously uncharacterized phenotype resulting from Tsa1 loss: impaired growth during the late exponential phase. We overexpressed catalase (CTT1) and Ahp1 in cells with disruptions in TSA1 and its homologue, TSA2 (tsa1/2Δ cells), and we found that neither Ctt1 nor Ahp1 overexpression suppressed the impaired cell growth at the stationary phase, although the ROS levels were successfully suppressed. Furthermore, the cell cycle profile was not altered by Tsa1/2 loss, at least in the late exponential phase; however, the glucose consumption rate slowed in the late exponential phase. Our results suggest that ROS levels are not responsible for the growth phenotype. Tsa1 might have a specific function that could not be replaced by Ahp1.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(1):51-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Although some studies have described the function of ADAM8 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease 8) related with rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and asthma, etc., the concrete role of ADAM8 in acute liver injury is still unknown. So mice respectively received anti-ADAM8 monoclonal antibody (mAb) of 100 μg/100 μl, 200 μg/100 μl or 300 μg/100 μl in PBS or PBS pre-injection. Then acute liver injury was induced in the mice by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Serum AST and ALT level, Haematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining, the expression level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were detected in the mice after CCl4 administration. Our results showed that anti-ADAM8 mAb pre-injection could effectively lower AST and ALT levels (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01) and reduce liver injury (P < 0.05 or P <0.01), induce the expression of VEGF, CYP1A2 and PCNA (P <0.05 or P < 0.01) in dose-dependent manner compared with the control mice which received PBS pre-injection. In summary, our study suggested that ADAM8 might promote liver injury by inhibiting the proliferation of hepatocytes, angiogenesis and affecting the metabolism function of liver during acute liver injury induced by CCl4. Anti-ADAM8 mAb injection might be suitable as a potential method for acute liver injury therapy.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; 39(2):339-51.

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