Journal Article

Hepatocellular Iron Accumulation and Increased Cell Proliferation in Polychlorinated Biphenyl-Exposed Sprague-Dawley Rats and the Development of Hepatocarcinogenesis

J. Whysner and C.-X. Wang

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 62, issue 1, pages 36-45
Published in print July 2001 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online July 2001 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/62.1.36
Hepatocellular Iron Accumulation and Increased Cell Proliferation in Polychlorinated Biphenyl-Exposed Sprague-Dawley Rats and the Development of Hepatocarcinogenesis

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are liver-tumor promoters in rodents, but the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Tissue sections from the PCB bioassay reported by Mayes et al. 1998, Toxicol. Sci., 41–66, were evaluated by histopathological techniques that included immunohistochemistry. In females, and to a much lesser extent in males, iron accumulation in hepatocytes was found at the 26th-week sacrifice, which was pronounced in the mid- and high-dose Aroclor-1254 and -1260 groups. At 52 weeks, large accumulations of iron were also present in Kupffer cells of females, and dose-related increases in proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) hepatocyte labeling indices were found in both males and females. These changes preceded the formation of liver tumors, which were not generally found until 78 weeks. Glutathione S-transferase placental (GSTP) positive foci were present at 52 weeks in high-dose Aroclor-1254 and -1260 female groups, and small foci were found in some Aroclor 1254-exposed female rats at 26 weeks, along with centrilobular hepatocytes expressing GSTP. The results of this study suggest that PCB-induced iron accumulation in hepatocytes is an early event that may be related to tumor formation, especially in female rats. In both males and females, increases in cell proliferation at 52 weeks were statistically significantly correlated with tumor incidences at termination among the various PCB dosage groups. Consequently, iron accumulations producing oxidative damage, and enhanced cell proliferation resulting in tumor promotion may be components in the mode of action for PCB-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in rodents.

Keywords: polychlorinated biphenyls; cell proliferation; carcinogenesis; iron accumulation; Aroclor; cancer mechanism; tumor promotion; liver cancer

Journal Article.  7216 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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