There is now a wealth of information regarding the apoptotic mode of cell death and its importance in toxicological studies in many mammalian organs including the liver. In this study, we investigated the modulatory effects of the heavy metal Zn2+ on transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1)-induced apoptosis in primary rat hepatocytes. Apoptosis induced by TGF-beta1 (1 ng/ml) in hepatocytes was accompanied by nuclear condensation as assessed morphologically by staining with Hoechst 33258 and DNA cleavage as detected biochemically by in situ end-labeling, field inversion and conventional gel electrophoresis. Pretreatment with 100 micromol/L Zn2+ abrogated the nuclear condensation, in situ end-labeling, and DNA laddering in TGF-beta1-treated hepatocytes. Surprisingly, Zn2+ did not inhibit the formation of high-molecular-weight DNA fragments (30-50 kbp to 250-300 kbp). These data provide evidence that Zn2+ exerts its effects on the endonucleases that act downstream in the execution phase of TGF-beta1-induced apoptosis in hepatocytes.
Plant styryl-lactone derivatives isolated from Goniothalamus sp. are potential compounds for cancer chemotherapy. In this study, we have examined the mechanisms of apoptosis induced by altholactone, a stryl-lactone isolated from the Malaysian plant G. malayanus on human HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells. Flow cytometric analysis of the externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS) using the annexin V/PI method on altholactone treated HL-60 cells showed a concentration-dependent increase of apoptosis from concentrations ranging from 10.8 (2.5 microg/ml) to 172.4 microM (40 microg/ml). Pre-treatment with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (1 mM) completely abrogated apoptosis induced by altholactone, suggesting for the involvement of oxidative stress. Further flow cytometric assessment of the level of intracellular peroxides using the fluorescent probe 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) confirmed that altholactone induced an increase in cellular oxidative stress in HL-60 cells which was suppressed by N-acetylcysteine. In summary, our results demonstrate for the first time that altholactone induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells occurs via oxidative stress.
Stilbenes are a group of chemicals characterized with the presence of 1,2-diphenylethylene. Previously, our group has demonstrated that synthesized (E)-N-(2-(3, 5-dimethoxystyryl) phenyl) furan-2-carboxamide (BK3C231) possesses potential chemopreventive activity specifically inducing NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) protein expression and activity. In this study, the cytoprotective effects of BK3C231 on cellular DNA and mitochondria were investigated in normal human colon fibroblast, CCD-18Co cells. The cells were pretreated with BK3C231 prior to exposure to the carcinogen 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4NQO). BK3C231 was able to inhibit 4NQO-induced cytotoxicity. Cells treated with 4NQO alone caused high level of DNA and mitochondrial damages. However, pretreatment with BK3C231 protected against these damages by reducing DNA strand breaks and micronucleus formation as well as decreasing losses of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and cardiolipin. Interestingly, our study has demonstrated that nitrosative stress instead of oxidative stress was involved in 4NQO-induced DNA and mitochondrial damages. Inhibition of 4NQO-induced nitrosative stress by BK3C231 was observed through a decrease in nitric oxide (NO) level and an increase in glutathione (GSH) level. These new findings elucidate the cytoprotective potential of BK3C231 in human colon fibroblast CCD-18Co cell model which warrants further investigation into its chemopreventive role.
The hydroquinone and catechol like metabolites, NCQ344 and NCQ436 respectively, of the antipsychotic remoxipride have recently been demonstrated to induce apoptosis in myeloperoxidase (MPO)-rich human bone marrow progenitor and HL-60 cells [S.M. McGuinness, R. Johansson, J. Lundstrom, D. Ross, Induction of apoptosis by remoxipride metabolites in HL-60 and CD34+/CD19- human bone marrow progenitor cells: potential relevance to remoxipride-induced aplastic anemia, Chem. Biol. Interact. 121 (1999) 253-265]. In the present study, we determined the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis induced by these remoxipride metabolites in HL-60 cells. Our results show that apoptosis was accompanied by phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure, activation of caspases-9, -3, -7 and DNA cleavage. In HL-60 cells treated with the hydroquinone NCQ344 and catechol NCQ436, the general caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp. fluoromethyl ketone (Z-VAD.FMK) blocked DNA cleavage and activation of caspases-9, -3/-7. In addition, PS exposure was significantly but not completely inhibited by Z-VAD.FMK. These results demonstrate that although Z-VAD.FMK inhibitable caspases are necessary for maximal apoptosis induced by NCQ344 and NCQ436, additional caspase-independent processes may orchestrate changes leading to PS exposure during apoptosis induced by the remoxipride polyphenolic metabolites.
Cytoprotection involving the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/antioxidant response element (ARE) signaling pathway is an important preventive strategy for normal cells against carcinogenesis. In our previous study, the chemopreventive potential of (E)-N-(2-(3, 5-Dimethoxystyryl) phenyl) furan-2-carboxamide (BK3C231) has been elucidated through its cytoprotective effects against DNA and mitochondrial damages in the human colon fibroblast CCD-18Co cell model. Therefore this study aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying BK3C231-induced cytoprotection and the involvement of the Nrf2/ARE pathway. The cells were pretreated with BK3C231 before exposure to carcinogen 4-nitroquinoline N-oxide (4NQO). BK3C231 increased the protein expression and activity of cytoprotective enzymes namely NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), as well as restoring the expression of glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC) back to the basal level. Furthermore, dissociation of Nrf2 from its inhibitory protein, Keap1, and ARE promoter activity were upregulated in cells pretreated with BK3C231. Taken together, our findings suggest that BK3C231 exerts cytoprotection by activating the Nrf2 signaling pathway which leads to ARE-mediated upregulation of cytoprotective proteins. This study provides new mechanistic insights into BK3C231 chemopreventive activities and highlights the importance of stilbene derivatives upon development as a potential chemopreventive agent.
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) are sensitive targets for benzene-induced hematotoxicity and leukemogenesis. The impact of benzene exposure on the complex microenvironment of HSCs and HPCs remains elusive. This study aims to investigate the mechanism linking benzene exposure to targeting HSCs and HPCs using phenotypic and clonogenic analyses. Mouse bone marrow (BM) cells were exposed ex vivo to the benzene metabolite, 1,4-benzoquinone (1,4-BQ), for 24h. Expression of cellular surface antigens for HSC (Sca-1), myeloid (Gr-1, CD11b), and lymphoid (CD45, CD3e) populations were confirmed by flow cytometry. The clonogenicity of cells was studied using the colony-forming unit (CFU) assay for multilineage (CFU-GM and CFU-GEMM) and single-lineage (CFU-E, BFU-E, CFU-G, and CFU-M) progenitors. 1,4-BQ demonstrated concentration-dependent cytotoxicity in mouse BM cells. The percentage of apoptotic cells increased (p < 0.05) following 1,4-BQ exposure. Exposure to 1,4-BQ showed no significant effect on CD3e(+) cells but reduced the total counts of Sca-1(+), CD11b(+), Gr-1(+), and CD45(+) cells at 7 and 12 μM (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the CFU assay showed reduced (p < 0.05) clonogenicity in 1,4-BQ-treated cells. 1,4-BQ induced CFU-dependent cytotoxicity by significantly inhibiting colony growth for CFU-E, BFU-E, CFU-G, and CFU-M starting at a low concentration of exposure (5μM); whereas for the CFU-GM and CFU-GEMM, the inhibition of colony growth was remarkable only at 7 and 12μM of 1,4-BQ, respectively. Taken together, 1,4-BQ caused lineage-related cytotoxicity in mouse HPCs, demonstrating greater toxicity in single-lineage progenitors than in those of multi-lineage.
The Fau gene (Finkel-Biskis-Reilly murine sarcoma virus (FBR-MuSV)-associated ubiquitously expressed gene) was identified as a potential tumor suppressor gene using a forward genetics approach. Downregulation of Fau by overexpression of its reverse sequence has been shown to inhibit apoptosis induced by DNA-damaging agents. To address a potential role of Fau in benzene toxicity, we investigated the apoptotic effects of hydroquinone (HQ), a major benzene metabolite, in W7.2 mouse thymoma cells transfected with either a plasmid construct expressing the antisense sequence of Fau (rfau) or the empty vector (pcDNA3.1) as a control. HQ induced apoptosis via increased production of reactive oxygen species and DNA damage, measured using dihydroethidine (HE) staining and alkaline Comet assay, respectively, in W7.2 pcDNA3.1 cells. In contrast, when Fau was downregulated by the antisense sequence in W7.2 rfau cells, HQ treatment did not cause DNA damage and oxidative stress and these cells were markedly more resistant to HQ-induced apoptosis. Further investigation revealed that there was an upregulation of NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), a detoxification enzyme for benzene-derived quinones, in W7.2 rfau cells. Compromising cellular NQO1 by use of a specific mechanism-based inhibitor (MAC 220) and NQO1 siRNA resensitized W7.2 rfau cells to HQ-induced apoptosis. Silencing of Fau in W7.2 wild-type cells resulted in increased levels of NQO1, confirming that downregulation of Fau results in NQO1 upregulation which protects against HQ-induced apoptosis.
Stilbenes possess a variety of biological activities including chemopreventive activity. This study was conducted to evaluate the structural activity relationships of six methoxylated stilbene analogues with respect to their cytotoxic effects and antioxidant activities on HepG2 hepatoma and Chang liver cells. The cytotoxic and total antioxidant activities of six stilbene analogues were determined by MTT and Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) assays, respectively. We found that the cis-methoxylated stilbene: (Z)-3,4,4'-trimethoxystilbene was the most potent and selective antiproliferative agent (IC₅₀ 89 µM) in HepG2 cells. For the total antioxidant activity, compounds possessing hydroxyl groups at the 4' position namely (E)-3-methoxy-4'-hydroxystilbene, (E)-3,5-dimethoxy-4'-hydroxystilbene (pterostilbene), (E)-4-methoxy-4'-hydroxystilbene showed the highest antioxidant activity. Structure activity relationship studies of these compounds demonstrated that the cytotoxic effect and antioxidant activities of the tested compounds in this study were structurally dependent.
Goniothalamin (GN), a styryl-lactone isolated from Goniothalamus andersonii, has been demonstrated to possess antirestenostic properties by inducing apoptosis on coronary artery smooth muscle cells (CASMCs). In this study, the molecular mechanisms of GN-induced CASMCs apoptosis were further elucidated. Apoptosis assessment based on the externalization of phosphatidylserine demonstrated that GN induces CASMCs apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. The GN-induced DNA damage occurred with concomitant elevation of p53 as early as 2 h, demonstrating an upstream signal for apoptosis. However, the p53 elevation in GN-treated CASMCs was independent of NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 and Mdm-2 expression. An increase in hydrogen peroxide and reduction in free thiols confirmed the role for oxidative stress in GN treatment. Pretreatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethyl ketone (z-VAD-FMK) that significantly abrogated GN-induced CASMCs apoptosis suggested the involvement of caspase(s). The role of apical caspase-2, -8, and -9 was then investigated, and sequential activation of caspase-2 and -9 but not caspase-8 leading to downstream caspase-3 cleavage was observed in GN-treated CASMCs. Reduction of ATP level and decrease in oxygen consumption further confirmed the role of mitochondria in GN-induced apoptosis in CASMCs. The mitochondrial release of cytochrome c was seen without mitochondrial membrane potential loss and was independent of cardiolipin. These data provide insight into the mechanisms of GN-induced apoptosis, which may have important implications in the development of drug-eluting stents.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are naturally occurring biopolyesters that have great potential in the medical field. However, the leachables resulting from sterilization process of the biomaterials may exert toxic effect including genetic damage. Here, we demonstrate that although gamma-irradiation of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-50 mol % 4-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB-co-4HB)] did not cause any change in the morphology by scanning electron microscopy, there was a significant degradation of this copolymer where the molecular weight was reduced by 37% after sterilization indicating the generation of leachables. Therefore, further investigation on the ability of the extract of this poststerilized copolymer to induce mutagenic effect was performed using Ames test (S. typhimurium strains TA1535 and TA1537) and umu test (S. typhimurium strain TA1535/pSK1002). Additionally, the capability of the extract to induce clastogenic effect was determined using Chinese hamster lung V79 fibroblast cells. Our results showed that with and without the presence of S9 metabolic activation, no mutagenic effects were observed in both Ames and umu tests when treated with P(3HB-co-4HB) extract. Similarly, treatment of P(3HB-co-4HB) extract in V79 fibroblast cells showed no significant production of micronuclei when compared with the positive control (Mitomycin C). Together, these results indicate that leachables of poststerilized P(3HB-co-4HB) cause no mutagenic and clastogenic effects.
Among the various biomaterials available for tissue engineering and therapeutic applications, microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates offer the most diverse range of thermal and mechanical properties. In this study, the biocompatibility of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB-co-4HB); containing 50 mol % of 4-hydroxybutyrate] copolymer produced by Delftia acidovorans was evaluated. The cytotoxicity, mode of cell death, and genotoxicity of P(3HB-co-4HB) extract against V79 and L929 fibroblast cells were assessed using MTT assay, acridine orange/propidium iodide staining, and alkaline comet assay, respectively. Our results demonstrate that P(3HB-co-4HB) treated on both cell lines were comparable with clinically-used Polyglactin 910, where more than 60% of viable cells were observed following 72-h treatment at 200 mg/mL. Further morphological investigation on the mode of cell death showed an increase in apoptotic cells in a time-dependent manner in both cell lines. On the other hand, P(3HB-co-4HB) at 200 mg/mL showed no genotoxic effects as determined by alkaline comet assay following 72-h treatment. In conclusion, our study indicated that P(3HB-co-4HB) compounds showed good biocompatibility in fibroblast cells suggesting that it has potential to be used for future medical applications.
Biomaterials intended for end-use application as bone-graft substitutes have to undergo safety evaluation. In this study, we investigated the in vitro cytotoxic effects especially to determine the mode of death of two hydroxyapatite compounds (HA2, HA3) which were synthesized locally. The methods used for cytotoxicity was the standard MTT assay whereas AO/PI staining was performed to determine the mode of cell death in HA treated L929 fibroblasts. Our results demonstrated that both HA2 and HA3 were not significantly cytotoxic as more than 75% cells after 72 hours treatment were viable. Furthermore, we found that the major mode of cell death in HA treated cells was apoptosis. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that these hydroxyapatite compounds are not cytotoxic where the mode of death was primarily via apoptosis.
Hydroxyapatite is the main component of the bone which is a potential biomaterial substance that can be applied in orthopaedics. In this study, the biocompatibility of this biomaterial was assessed using an in vitro technique. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity effect of HA2 and HA3 against L929 fibroblast cell was evaluated using the MTT Assay and Alkaline Comet Assay respectively. Both HA2 and HA3 compound showed low cytotoxicity effect as determined using MTT Assay. Cells viability following 72 hours incubation at maximum concentration of both HA2 and HA3 (200 mg/ml) were 75.3 +/- 8.8% and 86.7 +/- 13.1% respectively. However, the cytotoxicity effect of ZnSO4.7H2O as a positive control showed an IC50 values of 46 mg/ml (160 microM). On the other hand, both HA2 and HA3 compound showed a slight genotoxicity effect as determined using the Alkaline Comet Assay following incubation at the concentration 200 mg/ml for 72 hours. This assay has been widely used in genetic toxicology to detect DNA strand breaks and alkali-labile site. The percentage of the cells with DNA damage for both substance was 27.7 +/- 1.3% and 15.6 +/- 1.0% for HA2 and HA3 respectively. Incubation of the cells for 24 hours with 38 microg/ml (IC25) of positive control showed an increase in percentage of cells with DNA damage (67.5 +/- 0.7%). In conclusion, our study indicated that both hydroxyapatite compounds showed a good biocompatibility in fibroblast cells.
Styryl-lactones such as goniothalamin represent a new class of compounds with potential anti-cancer properties. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of goniothalamin (GTN), a plant styryl-lactone induced apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. This plant extract resulted in apoptosis in HL-60 cells as assessed by the externalisation of phosphatidylserine. Using the mitochondrial membrane dye (DIOC(6)) in conjunction with flow cytometry, we found that GTN treated HL-60 cells demonstrated a loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Deltapsi(m)). Further immunoblotting on these cells showed activation of initiator caspase-9 and the executioner caspases-3 and -7. Pretreatment with the pharmacological caspase inhibitor, benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp fluoromethyl ketone (Z-VAD.FMK) abrogated apoptosis as assessed by all of the apoptotic features in this study. In summary, our results demonstrate that goniothalamin-induced apoptosis occurs via the mitochondrial pathway in a caspase dependent manner.
Goniothalamin, a plant styrylpyrone derivative isolated from Goniothalamus andersonii, induced apoptosis in Jurkat T-cells as assessed by the externalisation of phosphatidylserine. Immunoblotting showed processing of caspases-3 and -7 with the appearance of their catalytically active large subunits of 17 and 19 kDa, respectively. Activation of these caspases was further evidenced by detection of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage (PARP). Pre-treatment with the caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp fluoromethyl ketone (Z-VAD.FMK) blocked apoptosis and the resultant cleavage of these caspases and PARP. Our results demonstrate that activation of at least two effector caspases is a key feature of goniothalamin-induced apoptosis in Jurkat T-cells.
Environmental and occupational exposure to industrial chemicals has been linked to toxic and carcinogenic effects in animal models and human studies. However, current toxicology testing does not thoroughly explore the endocrine disrupting effects of industrial chemicals, which may have low dose effects not predicted when determining the limit of toxicity. The objective of this study was to evaluate the endocrine disrupting potential of a broad range of chemicals used in the petrochemical sector. Therefore, 139 chemicals were classified for reproductive toxicity based on the United Nations Globally Harmonized System for hazard classification. These chemicals were evaluated in PubMed for reported endocrine disrupting activity, and their endocrine disrupting potential was estimated by identifying chemicals with active nuclear receptor endpoints publicly available databases. Evaluation of ToxCast data suggested that these chemicals preferentially alter the activity of the estrogen receptor (ER). Four chemicals were prioritized for in vitro testing using the ER-positive, immortalized human uterine Ishikawa cell line and a range of concentrations below the reported limit of toxicity in humans. We found that 2,6-di-tert-butyl-p-cresol (BHT) and diethanolamine (DEA) repressed the basal expression of estrogen-responsive genes PGR, NPPC, and GREB1 in Ishikawa cells, while tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and 2,2'-methyliminodiethanol (MDEA) induced the expression of these genes. Furthermore, low-dose combinations of PCE and MDEA produced additive effects. All four chemicals interfered with estradiol-mediated induction of PGR, NPPC, and GREB1. Molecular docking demonstrated that these chemicals could bind to the ligand binding site of ERα, suggesting the potential for direct stimulatory or inhibitory effects. We found that these chemicals altered rates of proliferation and regulated the expression of cell proliferation associated genes. These findings demonstrate previously unappreciated endocrine disrupting effects and underscore the importance of testing the endocrine disrupting potential of chemicals in the future to better understand their potential to impact public health.
Restenosis represents a major impediment to the success of coronary angioplasty. Abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) has been shown to be an important process in the pathogenesis of restenosis. A number of agents, particularly rapamycin and paclitaxel, have been shown to impact on this process. This study was carried out to determine the mechanisms of cytotoxicity of goniothalamin (GN) on VSMCs. Results from MTT cytotoxicity assay showed that the IC(50) for GN was 4.4 microg/ml (22 microM), which was lower compared to the clinically used rapamycin (IC(50) of 25 microg/ml [27.346 microM]). This was achieved primarily via apoptosis where up to 25.83 +/- 0.44% of apoptotic cells were detected after 72 h treatment with GN. In addition, GN demonstrated similar effects as rapamycin in inhibiting VSMCs proliferation using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) cell proliferation assay after 72 h treatment at IC(50) concentration (p > 0.05). In order to understand the mechanisms of GN, DNA damage detection using comet assay was determined at 2h post-treatment with GN. Our results showed that there was a concentration-dependent increase in DNA damage in VSMCs prior to cytotoxicity. Moreover, GN effects were comparable to rapamycin. In conclusion, our data show that GN initially induces DNA damage which subsequently leads to cytotoxicity primarily via apoptosis in VSMCs.
Selective Alzheimer Disease Indicator-1 (or Seladin-1) is a multifunctional protein first discovered by downregulation of its expression in Alzheimer's disease. Interestingly, the expression of this protein is upregulated in several cancers, including primary bladder cancer. However, its role in cancer formation has yet to be discovered. Goniothalamin is a natural product that has been demonstrated to induce apoptosis in various cancer cell lines. In this study, we have elucidated the role of Seladin-1 in goniothalamin-induced cytotoxicity towards human urinary bladder cancer cell line RT4.
The aquatic ecotoxicity of chemicals involved in the manufacturing process of thin film transistor liquid crystal displays was assessed with a battery of four selected acute toxicity bioassays. We focused on tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH, CAS No. 75-59-2), a widely utilized etchant. The toxicity of TMAH was low when tested in the 72 h-algal growth inhibition test (Pseudokirchneriellia subcapitata, EC50=360 mg L(-1)) and the Microtox® test (Vibrio fischeri, IC50=6.4 g L(-1)). In contrast, the 24h-microcrustacean immobilization and the 96 h-fish mortality tests showed relatively higher toxicity (Daphnia magna, EC50=32 mg L(-1) and Oryzias latipes, LC50=154 mg L(-1)). Isobologram and mixture toxicity index analyses revealed apparent synergism of the mixture of TMAH and potassium iodide when examined with the D. magna immobilization test. The synergistic action was unique to iodide over other halide salts i.e. fluoride, chloride and bromide. Quaternary ammonium ions with longer alkyl chains such as tetraethylammonium and tetrabutylammonium were more toxic than TMAH in the D. magna immobilization test.