Birth is characterized by an intense oxidative stress resulting in nucleotide alterations and gene overexpression in mouse lung. We showed that cigarette smoke (CS) is carcinogenic when exposure starts soon after birth and applied this bioassay to evaluate the efficacy of chemopreventive agents. The present study evaluated whether administration of the antioxidants N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) and vitamin C or ascorbic acid (AsA) during pregnancy can protect strain H Swiss mice exposed to CS after birth. Exposure to CS, for 4 months, of newborns from untreated mice resulted in significant alterations at 8 months of life, including alveolar epithelial hyperplasia, emphysema, blood vessel proliferation, microadenomas, adenomas, and malignant tumors in lung, liver parenchymal degeneration and urinary bladder epithelium hyperplasia. Treatment throughout pregnancy with either NAC, a scavenger of reactive oxygen species, or AsA, an electron donor, did not affect fertility, parity, and body weight of newborns. Prenatal antioxidants significantly inhibited most lesions in adult mice exposed to CS since birth. For instance, the incidence of emphysema was reduced from 27.5% in CS-exposed mice that were untreated during pregnancy to 7.1% and 14.0% in those treated prenatally with NAC and AsA, respectively. Lung adenomas were reduced from 34.8% to 16.7% and 9.3%, respectively. Malignant lung tumors were reduced from 13.0% to 4.7% by prenatal AsA. Liver parenchymal degeneration was reduced from 58.0% to 14.3% by prenatal NAC. These data mechanistically support a "transplacental chemoprevention" strategy, aimed at protecting the newborn from oxidative stress and the adult from CS-related diseases appearing later in life.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke (CS) and dietary factors play a major role in cancer epidemiology. At the same time, however, the diet is the richest source of anticancer agents. Berries possess a broad array of health protective properties and were found to attenuate the yield of tumors induced by individual carcinogens in the rodent digestive tract and mammary gland but failed to prevent lung tumors induced by typical CS components in mice. We exposed whole-body Swiss ICR mice to mainstream CS, starting at birth and continuing daily for 4 months. Aqueous extracts of black chokeberry and strawberry were given as the only source of drinking water, starting after weaning and continuing for 7 months, thus mimicking an intervention in current smokers. In the absence of berries, CS caused a loss of body weight, induced early cytogenetical damage in circulating erythrocytes and histopathological alterations in lung (emphysema, blood vessel proliferation, alveolar epithelial hyperplasia and adenomas), liver (parenchymal degeneration) and urinary bladder (epithelial hyperplasia). Both berry extracts inhibited the CS-related body weight loss, cytogenetical damage, liver degeneration, pulmonary emphysema and lung adenomas. Protective effects were more pronounced in female mice, which may be ascribed to modulation by berry components of the metabolism of estrogens implicated in lung carcinogenesis. Interestingly, both the carcinogen and the chemopreventive agents tested are complex mixtures that contain a multitude of components working through composite mechanisms.
International Journal of Cancer 11/2012; 131(9):1991-7. DOI:10.1002/ijc.27486 · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) has important consequences on gene and protein expression since a single miRNA targets a number of genes simultaneously. This article provides a review of published data and ongoing studies regarding the effects of cigarette smoke (CS), either mainstream (MCS) or environmental (ECS), on the expression of miRNAs and related proteins. The results generated in mice, rats, and humans provided evidence that exposure to CS results in an intense dysregulation of miRNA expression in the respiratory tract, which is mainly oriented in the sense of downregulation. In parallel, there was an upregulation of proteins targeted by the downregulated miRNAs. These trends reflect an attempt to defend the respiratory tract by means of antioxidant mechanisms, detoxification of carcinogens, DNA repair, anti-inflammatory pathways, apoptosis, etc. However, a long-lasting exposure to CS causes irreversible miRNA alterations that activate carcinogenic mechanisms, such as modulation of oncogenes and oncosuppressor genes, cell proliferation, recruitment of undifferentiated stem cells, inflammation, inhibition of intercellular communications, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. The miRNA alterations induced by CS in the lung of mice and rats are similar to those observed in the human respiratory tract. Since a number of miRNAs that are modulated by CS and/or chemopreventive agents are subjected to single nucleotide polymorphisms in humans, they can be evaluated according to toxicogenomic/pharmacogenomics approaches. A variety of cancer chemopreventive agents tested in our laboratory modulated both baseline and CS-related miRNA and proteome alterations, thus contributing to evaluate both safety and efficacy of dietary and pharmacological agents.
International Journal of Cancer 12/2012; 131(12):2763-73. DOI:10.1002/ijc.27814 · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Birth and early life stages are critical periods characterized by severe alterations of the redox balance and by "physiological" genomic changes in lung cells, which may be responsible for cancer and other diseases in adulthood. Oxidative stress is a major mechanism accounting for the carcinogenicity of cigarette smoke (CS), which becomes more potently carcinogenic in mice when exposure starts at birth and continues early in life. We compared herewith a variety of end-points related to oxidative stress, mitochondrial alterations, and cell turnover in the lung of Swiss H mice, either sham-exposed or CS-exposed for 4 weeks, starting either at birth or at 4 months of age. The results showed that the physiological levels of certain end-points are affected by age. In fact, the baseline proportion of hypodiploid cells and the mitochondrial potential and mass were higher in adults, whereas 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dGuo) levels, the proportion of necrotic cells, and the extent of autophagy were higher early in life. Adult mice were more responsive to CS by increasing the proportion of necrotic cells and of cells in S/G(2) phase, whereas young mice maintained a high extent of autophagy, exhibited a greater increase of lipid peroxidation products and 8-oxo-dGuo levels, and had a higher frequency of micronucleated cells. In addition, exposure to CS affected the mitochondrial potential/mass, especially in young mice. In conclusion, these data provide evidence that oxidative stress and the resulting DNA damage provide a major contribution to the high susceptibility of mice to CS early in life.
Archives of Toxicology 02/2013; 87(5). DOI:10.1007/s00204-012-0993-1 · 5.98 Impact Factor
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