Journal Article

Effects of Dichloroacetate (DCA) on Serum Insulin Levels and Insulin-Controlled Signaling Proteins in Livers of Male B6C3F1 Mice

Melissa K. Lingohr, Brian D. Thrall and Richard J. Bull

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 59, issue 1, pages 178-184
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Effects of Dichloroacetate (DCA) on Serum Insulin Levels and Insulin-Controlled Signaling Proteins in Livers of Male B6C3F1 Mice

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DCA is hepatocarcinogenic in rodents. At carcinogenic doses, DCA causes a large accumulation of liver glycogen. Thus, we studied the effects of DCA treatment on insulin levels and expression of insulin-controlled signaling proteins in the liver. DCA treatment (0.2–2.0 g/l in drinking water for 2 weeks) reduced serum insulin levels. The decrease persisted for at least 8 weeks. In livers of mice treated with DCA for 2-, 10-, and 52-week periods, insulin receptor (IR) protein levels were significantly depressed. Additionally, protein kinase B (PKBα) expression decreased significantly with DCA treatment. In normal liver, glycogen levels were increased as early as at 1 week, and this effect preceded changes in insulin and IR and PKBα. In contrast to normal liver, IR protein was elevated in DCA-induced liver tumors relative to that in liver tissue of untreated animals and to an even greater extent when compared to adjacent normal liver in the treated animal. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) phosphorylation was also increased in tumor tissue relative to normal liver tissue and tissue from untreated controls. These data suggest that normal hepatocytes down-regulate insulin-signaling proteins in response to the accumulation of liver glycogen caused by DCA. Futhermore, these results suggest that the initiated cell population, which does not accumulate glycogen and is promoted by DCA treatment, responds differently from normal hepatocytes to the insulin-like effects of this chemical. The differential sensitivity of the 2 cell populations may contribute to the tumorigenic effects of DCA in the liver.

Keywords: dichloroacetate; glycogen; insulin; signaling; insulin receptor PKB; hepatocarcinogen

Journal Article.  5024 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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