Biochemical, pathologic and morphometric alterations induced in male B6C3F1 mouse liver by short-term exposure to dichloroacetic acid
ABSTRACT Dichloroacetic acid (DCA) is a complete hepatocarcinogen and tumor promoter in the male B6C3F1 mouse. Published reports indicate that the compound is non-genotoxic. This study examines possible non-genotoxic (epigenetic) mechanisms by which DCA elicits its carcinogenic response. Correlative biochemical, pathologic and morphometric techniques are used to characterize and quantify the acute, short-term response of hepatocytes in the male B6C3F1 mouse to drinking water containing DCA. Cellularity, [ 3H]ithymidine incorporation, DNA concentration, nuclear size, and binuclearity are evaluated in terms of level of exposure (0, 0.5 and 5 g/l) and length of exposure to DCA. The dose-related alterations in hepatocytes of animals exposed to DCA for 30 days or less indicate that shortterm exposure to DCA results in inhibition of mitoses, alterations in cellular metabolism and a shift in ploidy class. Thus, DCA carcinogenesis may involve cellular adaptations, development of drug resistance and selection of phenotypically altered cells with a growth advantage.