Journal Article

Differential induction of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase in primary cultures of rat and mouse hepatocytes parallels induction during hepatocarcinogenesis.

B C Gallagher, D B Rudolph, B T Hinton and M H Hanigan

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 7, pages 1251-1255
Published in print July 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online July 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/19.7.1251
Differential induction of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase in primary cultures of rat and mouse hepatocytes parallels induction during hepatocarcinogenesis.

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In carcinogen-treated rats, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) is induced in preneoplastic liver lesions and liver tumors. However, in mice, GGT is rarely detected during hepatocarcinogenesis. Data in this study reveal that GGT is not induced in mouse hepatocytes when they are maintained in vitro under the same conditions that induce GGT activity in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. GGT activity in rat hepatocytes increased 20-fold during the first 7 days in culture, but there was no induction of GGT in primary cultures of mouse hepatocytes. Comparison of intracellular glutathione levels in rat and mouse liver cells showed that the glutathione level was higher in the mouse liver cells than the rat. Blocking glutathione synthesis with buthionine sulfoximine reduced the intracellular glutathione concentration in mouse liver cells but did not trigger an induction of GGT. Analysis of the GGT mRNA in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes showed that only GGT mRNA(III) is induced. This is the same GGT mRNA species present in preneoplastic hepatic lesions and liver tumors in the rat (1-3). Therefore activation of promoter III in the GGT gene is responsible for induction of GGT in both hepatocytes in vitro and liver tumors in vivo. These data show that primary cultures of rat and mouse hepatocytes provide a model system with which to study interspecies differences in the regulation of this enzyme and to better understand the role of GGT in normal and neoplastic processes.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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