[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The susceptibility to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) varies greatly within human populations in response to environmental risk agents. The mechanisms underlying differential susceptibility are still largely unknown and need to be clarified to improve HCC chemoprevention and therapeutic treatment. Inbred rodent strains with established predispositions for hepatocarcinogenesis offer the opportunity to identify intrinsic susceptibility and resistance factors. Previously, we have characterized mouse strains showing differential susceptibility to o-aminoazotoluene (OAT) and established that susceptibility does not result from OAT metabolism or genotoxicity in the livers of resistant and susceptible mice. In this study we have found that OAT differently affects hepatocyte proliferation in mice after partial hepatectomy (PH). OAT inhibited hepatocyte proliferation by 60-80% in the livers of susceptible mice, whereas resistant mice showed less than 15% inhibition. The inhibition resulted in significant delay of hepatic mass recovery in susceptible mice. OAT induced p53 stabilization and transcriptional activation in response to carcinogen treatment to the same degree in both, susceptible and resistant mice. Taken together, our data support inhibition of hepatocyte proliferation as a major cause for increased mouse susceptibility to hepatocarcinogenesis, and acceleration of functional liver recovery may offer a way to increase resistance to hepatic neoplasms. These results may have relevance to clinical observations of HCCs and implications for HCC chemoprevention and treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of rat-specific hepatocarcinogen 3'-methyl-4-dimethylaminoazobenzene (3'-MeDAB), mouse-specific hepatocarcinogen ortho-aminoazotoluene (OAT), non-species-specific hepatocarcinogen diethylnitrosamine (DENA), and non-carcinogenic 4'-methyl-4-dimethylaminoazobenzene (4'-MeDAB) on glucocorticoid induction of tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) and DNA-binding activity of hepatocyte nuclear factor 3 (HNF3) family of transcription factors were investigated with carcinogen-susceptible and -resistant animals. Species-specific hepatocarcinogens 3'-MeDAB and OAT strongly inhibited glucocorticoid induction of TAT in the liver of susceptible but not resistant animals. DENA, which is highly carcinogenic for the liver of both rats and mice inhibited glucocorticoid induction of TAT in both species, while non-carcinogenic 4'-MeDAB was absolutely ineffective both in rats and mice. The inhibition of TAT activity by the carcinogens was due to reduced levels of TAT mRNA, which is most likely to be a result of the reduced rate of transcription initiation of the TAT gene. In all cases, the TAT inhibition was accompanied by significant reduction of DNA-binding activity of the HNF3 transcription factor, which is known to be critical to glucocorticoid regulation of TAT gene. We also demonstrated that the described species-specific effects of OAT and of 3'-MeDAB on HNF3 DNA-binding activity may be initiated not only by administration in vivo, but also by their direct administration to homogenate, intact nuclei or nuclear lysate, but not to nuclear extract fraction, obtained by precipitation with 0.32 g/mL of ammonium sulfate (Fraction I). We showed, that a factor responsible for this effect might be precipitated in 0.32-0.47 g/mL interval of ammonium sulfate concentration. In contrast, non-specific hepatocarcinogen DENA was effective upon being added directly to Fraction I, implying a different mechanism of its action.