Hiroko Zaha

National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

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Publications (14)35.66 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pyrethroids are one of the most widely used classes of insecticides and show neurotoxic effects that induce oxidative stress in the neonatal rat brain. However, little is still known about effects of prenatal exposure to permethrin on vascular development in fetal brain, central nervous system development, and adult offspring behaviors. In this study, the effects of prenatal exposure to permethrin on the development of cerebral arteries in fetal brains, neurotransmitter in neonatal brains, and locomotor activities in offspring mice were investigated. Permethrin (0, 2, 10, 50, and 75 mg/kg) was orally administered to pregnant females once on gestation day 10.5. The brains of permethrin-treated fetuses showed altered vascular formation involving shortened lengths of vessels, an increased number of small branches, and, in some cases, insufficient fusion of the anterior communicating arteries in the area of circle of Willis. The prenatal exposure to permethrin altered neocortical and hippocampus thickness in the mid brain and significantly increased norepinephrine and dopamine levels at postnatal day 7 mice. For spontaneous behavior, the standing ability test using a viewing jar and open-field tests showed significant decrease of the standing ability and locomotor activity in male mice at 8 or 12 weeks of age, respectively. The results suggest that prenatal exposure to permethrin may affect insufficient development of the brain through alterations of vascular development. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 28:617-629, 2013.
    Environmental Toxicology 11/2013; 28(11):617-29. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We hypothesized that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes involved in environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs) metabolism might influence the risk of male genital malformations. In this study, we explored for association between 384 SNPs in 15 genes (AHR, AHRR, ARNT, ARNT2, NR1I2, RXRA, RXRB, RXRG, CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, CYP2B6, CYP3A4, CYP17A1 and CYP19A1) and risk of cryptorchidism (CO) and hypospadias (HS) in 334 Japanese (JPN) males (141 controls, 95 CO and 98 HS) and 187 Italian (ITA) males (129 controls and 58 CO). In the JPN study group, five SNPs from ARNT2 (rs2278705 and rs5000770), CYP1A2 (rs2069521), CYP17A1 (rs4919686) and NR1I2 (rs2472680) were significantly associated at both allelic and genotypic levels with risk of at least one genital malformation phenotype. In the ITA study group, two SNPs in AHR (rs3757824) and ARNT2 (rs1020397) were significantly associated with risk of CO. Interaction analysis of the positive SNPs using multifactor dimensionality reduction demonstrated that synergistic interaction between rs2472680, rs4919686 and rs5000770 had 62.81% prediction accuracy for CO (P=0.011) and that between rs2069521 and rs2278705 had 69.98% prediction accuracy for HS (P=0.001) in JPN population. In a combined analysis of JPN and ITA population, the most significant multi-locus association was observed between rs5000770 and rs3757824, which had 65.70% prediction accuracy for CO (P=0.055). Our findings indicate that genetic polymorphisms in genes involved in EED metabolism are associated with risk of CO and HS.
    Journal of Human Genetics 05/2012; 57(7):434-41. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The carcinogenic activity of bisphenol A (BPA) is responsible for stimulating growth in estrogen-dependent breast cancer tissues, cell lines and rodent studies. However, it is not fully understood how this compound promotes mammary carcinogenesis. In our study, we examined the effect of BPA on cellular proliferation and senescence in human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC). Exposure to BPA for 1 week at the early stage at passage 8 increased the proliferation and sphere size of HMEC at the later stage up to passage 16, suggesting that BPA has the capability to modulate cell growth in breast epithelial cells. Interestingly, the number of human heterochromatin protein-1γ positive cells, which is a marker of senescence, was also increased among BPA-treated cells. Consistent with these findings, the protein levels of both p16 and cyclin E, which are known to induce cellular senescence and promote proliferation, respectively, were increased in BPA-exposed HMEC. Furthermore, DNA methylation levels of genes related to development of most or all tumor types, such as BRCA1, CCNA1, CDKN2A (p16), THBS1, TNFRSF10C and TNFRSF10D, were increased in BPA-exposed HMEC. Our findings in the HMEC model suggested that the genetic and epigenetic alterations by BPA might damage HMEC function and result in complex activities related to cell proliferation and senescence, playing a role in mammary carcinogenesis.
    Cancer biology & therapy 03/2012; 13(5):296-306. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously established a protocol for the neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) as an efficient tool to evaluate the neurodevelopmental toxicity of environmental chemicals. Here, we described a multivariate bioinformatic approach to identify the stage-specific gene sets associated with neural differentiation of mESCs. We exposed mESCs (B6G-2 cells) to 10(-8) or 10(-7) M of retinoic acid (RA) for 4 days during embryoid body formation and then performed morphological analysis on day of differentiation (DoD) 8 and 36, or genomic microarray analysis on DoD 0, 2, 8, and 36. Three gene sets, namely a literature-based gene set (set 1), an analysis-based gene set (set 2) using self-organizing map and principal component analysis, and an enrichment gene set (set 3), were selected by the combined use of knowledge from literatures and gene information selected from the microarray data. A gene network analysis for each gene set was then performed using Bayesian statistics to identify stage-specific gene expression signatures in response to RA during mESC neural differentiation. Our results showed that RA significantly increased the size of neurosphere, neuronal cells, and glial cells on DoD 36. In addition, the gene network analysis showed that glial fibrillary acidic protein, a neural marker, remarkably up-regulates the other genes in gene set 1 and 3, and Gbx2, a neural development marker, significantly up-regulates the other genes in gene set 2 on DoD 36 in the presence of RA. These findings suggest that our protocol for identification of developmental stage-specific gene expression and interaction is a useful method for the screening of environmental chemical toxicity during neurodevelopmental periods.
    Frontiers in Genetics 01/2012; 3:141.
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    Cancer biology & therapy 01/2012; · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of low-dose bisphenol A (BPA) exposure on human reproductive health is still controversial. To better understand the molecular basis of the effect of BPA on human reproductive health, a genome-wide screen was performed using human foreskin fibroblast cells (hFFCs) derived from child hypospadias (HS) patients to identify novel targets of low-dose BPA exposure. Gene expression profiles of hFFCs were measured after exposure to 10 nM BPA, 0.01 nM 17β-estradiol (E2) or 1 nM 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) for 24 h. Differentially expressed genes were identified using an unpaired Student's t test with P value cut off at 0.05 and fold change of more than 1.2. These genes were selected for network generation and pathway analysis using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis, Pathway Express and KegArray. Seventy-one genes (42 downregulated and 29 upregulated) were identified as significantly differentially expressed in response to BPA, among which 43 genes were found to be affected exclusively by BPA compared with E2 and TCDD. Of particular interest, real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression of matrix metallopeptidase 11 (MMP11), a well-known effector of development and normal physiology, was found to be inhibited by BPA (0.47-fold and 0.37-fold at 10 nM and 100 nM, respectively). Furthermore, study of hFFCs derived from HS and cryptorchidism (CO) patients (n = 23 and 11, respectively) indicated that MMP11 expression was significantly lower in the HS group than in the CO group (0.25-fold, P = 0.0027). This present study suggests that an involvement of BPA in the etiology of HS might be associated with the downregulation of MMP11. Further study to elucidate the function of the novel target genes identified in this study during genital tubercle development might increase our knowledge of the effects of low-dose BPA exposure on human reproductive health.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e36711. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We hypothesized that polymorphic differences among individuals might cause variations in the effect that environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs) have on male genital malformations (MGMs). In this study, individual variation in the genetic response to low-dose bisphenol A (BPA) was investigated in human foreskin fibroblast cells (hFFCs) derived from child cryptorchidism (CO) and hypospadias (HS) patients. hFFCs were collected from control children without MGMs (n = 5) and child CO and HS patients (n = 8 and 21, respectively). BPA exposure (10 nM) was found to inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-11 (MMP11) expression in the HS group (0.74-fold, P = 0.0034) but not in the control group (0.93-fold, P = 0.84) and CO group (0.94-fold, P = 0.70). Significantly lower levels of MMP11 expression were observed in the HS group compared with the control group (0.80-fold, P = 0.0088) and CO group (0.79-fold, P = 0.039) in response to 10 nM BPA. The effect of single-nucleotide polymorphism rs5000770 (G>A), located within the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator 2 (ARNT2) locus, on individual sensitivity to low-dose BPA was investigated in the HS group. A significant difference in neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1) expression in response to 10 nM BPA was observed between AA and AG/GG groups (n = 6 and 15, respectively. P = 0.031). However, no significant difference in ARNT2 expression was observed (P = 0.18). This study advances our understanding of the specificity of low-dose BPA effects on human reproductive health. Our results suggest that genetic variability among individuals affects susceptibility to the effects of EEDs exposure as a potential cause of HS.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e52756. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental chemicals with estrogenic activity, known as xenoestrogens, may cause impaired reproductive development and endocrine-related cancers in humans by disrupting endocrine functions. Aryl-hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator 2 (ARNT2) is believed to play important roles in a variety of physiological processes, including estrogen signaling pathways, that may be involved in the pathogenesis and therapeutic responses of endocrine-related cancers. However, much of the underlying mechanism remains unknown. In this study, we investigated whether ARNT2 expression is regulated by a range of representative xenoestrogens in human cancer cell lines. Bisphenol A (BPA), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), and 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(2-chlorophenyl-4-chlorophenyl)ethane (o,p'-DDT) were found to be estrogenic toward BG1Luc4E2 cells by an E-CALUX bioassay. ARNT2 expression was downregulated by BPA, BBP, and o,p'-DDT in a dose-dependent manner in estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1)-positive MCF-7 and BG1Luc4E2 cells, but not in estrogen receptor-negative LNCaP cells. The reduction in ARNT2 expression in cells treated with the xenoestrogens was fully recovered by the addition of a specific ESR1 antagonist, MPP. In conclusion, we have shown for the first time that ARNT2 expression is modulated by xenoestrogens by an ESR1-dependent mechanism in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
    Toxicology Letters 07/2011; 206(2):152-7. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Profiles of Chemical Effects on Cells (pCEC) is a toxicogenomics database with a system of classifying chemicals that have effects on human health. This database stores and handles gene expression profiling information and categories of toxicity data. Chemicals are classified according to the specific tissues and cells they affect, the gene expression changes they induce, their toxicity and biological functions in this database system. The pCEC system also analyzes relationships between chemicals and the genes they affect in specific tissues and cells. The reason why we developed pCEC is to support decision-making within the context of environmental regulation. Especially, exposure to environmental chemicals during fetal and newborn development may result in a predisposition to various disorders such as cancer, learning disabilities and allergies later in life. The identification and prediction of hazardous chemicals using limited information are important issues in human health risk management. Therefore, various toxicity information including lethal dose 50 (LD50), toxicity pathways and pathological data were loaded into pCEC. pCEC is also a facility for query, analysis and prediction of unknown toxicochemical reaction pathways and biomarkers which are based on toxicoinformatical data mining approaches. This database is available online at http://project.nies.go.jp/eCA/cgi-bin/index.cgi. The current version of the database has information on the hepatotoxicity, reproductive toxicity and embryotoxicity of chemicals.
    The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 02/2010; 35(1):115-23. · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodebenzo-p-dioxin) requires the presence of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr) gene for its toxic effects, such as reproductive disorders in male offspring of maternally exposed rats and mice. To study the involvement of the Ahr gene in producing the toxic phenotype with respect to testicular development, we administered a relatively high dose of TCDD to mice with three different maternally derived Ahr genotypic traits, and then compared several Ahr-dependent alterations among male reproductive systems on Postnatal Day 14. Reduction in anogenital distance and expression of prostatic epithelial genes in the urogenital complex (UGC) were detected in Ahr(+/+) and Ahr(+/-) mice exposed to TCDD, whereas no difference was observed in Ahr(-/-) mice. In situ hybridization revealed the absence of probasin mRNA expression in the prostate epithelium, despite the obvious development of prostatic lobes in TCDD-exposed mice. In contrast to obvious prostatic dysfunction and induction of cytochrome P450 (CYP) family genes in the UGC by TCDD, no alterations in testicular functions were observed in germ cell/Sertoli cell/interstitial cell marker gene expression or CYP family induction. No histopathological changes were observed among the three genotypes and between control and TCDD-exposed mice. Therefore, mouse external genitalia and prostatic development are much more sensitive to TCDD treatment than testis. Further, the Ahr gene, analyzed in this study, does not significantly contribute to testicular function during perinatal and immature stages, and the developing mouse testis appears to be quite resistant to TCDD exposure.
    Biology of Reproduction 12/2009; 82(3):636-43. · 4.03 Impact Factor
  • Neuroscience Research - NEUROSCI RES. 01/2009; 65.
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    ABSTRACT: To search for genes whose products modify aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent toxicity caused by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), gene expression profiles in the liver were surveyed using microarrays 24 h after the administration of TCDD to three strains of female mice, BALB/cAnN (BALB), C3H/HeN (C3H) and CBA/JN (CBA) all of identical AhR genotype. The BALB/cAnN strain had a more marked induction of a number of glutathione S-transferase (GST) sub-families, particularly the GSTmicro gene family, compared with the other two strains. To assess the effects of GSTs induction to metabolize carcinogens, TCDD (40 microg kg(-1)) was administered to BALB and CBA strains, followed 24 h later by an i.p. injection of low or high dose of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P, 50 or 200 mg kg(-1)). The 32P-postlabelling analysis showed that administration of TCDD alone failed to induce DNA adduct formation in both BALB and CBA strain mouse livers. The low dose of B[a]P alone produced DNA adduct in the liver of both strains to a similar extent. Treatment with TCDD 24 h before the low dose of B[a]P suppressed the formation of B[a]P-induced DNA-adduct more markedly in the BALB strain compared with the CBA strain. Taken together, these findings show that TCDD treatment causes strain-specific alterations in gene expression and B[a]P-induced DNA adduct formation in the liver of female mice of the same AhRb2 genotype. Furthermore, it suggests that TCDD-treated female mice of the BALB strain may have genes whose products modify the toxicity of B[a]P as evidenced by TCDD-induced alterations in B[a]P-DNA adduct formation.
    Journal of Applied Toxicology 01/2008; 28(6):724-33. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) can induce estrogenic action or inhibit estrogen-induced effects in various tissues because of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-estrogen receptor (ER) cross-talk. In order to identify the biomarkers of TCDD endocrine disruption, we screened estrogen-responsive genes modified by TCDD exposure using specific cDNA microarrays spotted with estrogen-responsive genes. MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cells and RL95-2 human endometrial carcinoma cells were exposed to TCDD, and an analysis of their gene expression revealed 32 genes exhibiting a significant change. The mRNA expression levels of 27 genes were subsequently verified using real-time RT-PCR. Among these genes, bioinformatic analyses indicated that insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5 (IGFBP5) gene expression might be influenced by estrogen status. In our animal experiments, IGFBP5 was also shown to be responsive to TCDD exposure in mouse fetuses in utero. These results suggest that TCDD affects the expression levels of a series of estrogen-responsive genes, and follow-up fetal studies in mice indicated that IGFBP5 is useful as a biomarker of TCDD activity.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 07/2007; 272(1-2):38-49. · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoform CYP2C11 is specifically expressed in the liver of adult male rats, and 5alpha-reductase is specifically expressed in the liver of the adult female rats. The sexually dimorphic expressions of these hepatic enzymes are regulated by the sex-dependent profiles of the circulating growth hormone (GH). However, it is not well known whether hormonal imprinting or activation factors in the neonatal brain influence the sexually dimorphic expression patterns of hepatic enzymes. We therefore examined the effect of perinatal exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on sex-dependent expressions of hepatic enzymes. Pregnant rats were treated with TCDD at a dose of 0, 200, or 800 ng/kg on gestation day 15, exposing the pups to the chemical. Although the expression of CYP2C11 protein in the livers of male pups on postnatal day (PND) 49 was significantly higher than that of the controls, but the 5alpha-reductase activities in the livers of female pups were not altered by exposure to TCDD. Focusing on perinatal periods, testosterone and estrogen levels significantly increased in the brain of male pups on PND 2. The results suggest that the alteration of testosterone and estrogen levels affect hormonal imprinting in the neonatal brain of male pups, and thus induces a change in the level of male-specific hepatic CYP2C11. We conclude that perinatal exposure to TCDD at low doses may change the sexual differentiation of the neonatal brain in male rats.
    Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology 02/2003; 17(5):278-85. · 1.60 Impact Factor