The tumor promotion stage of chemical carcinogenesis has been shown to exhibit a persistence of cellular effects during treatment and the reversibility of these changes upon cessation of treatment. Inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication and increased replicative DNA synthesis appear to be important in this process. The present study assessed the persistence and reversibility of gap-junctional intercellular communication inhibition, peroxisomal proliferation, and replicative DNA synthesis in livers from male F344 rats and B6C3F1 mice. Dietary administration of 20,000 mg/kg DEHP to male rats for 2 weeks decreased intercellular communication (67% of control) and enhanced replicative DNA synthesis (4.8-fold over control). Elevation of the relative liver weight and the induction of peroxisomal β oxidation were also observed following treatment with 20,000 mg/Kg DEHP for 2 weeks. Following DEHP administration at a dose of 6000 mg/kg for 18 months, inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication persisted, and the relative liver weight and induction of peroxisomal β oxidation remained elevated in both rats and male B6C3F1 mice. Treatment of rats and mice with phenobarbital for 18 months (500-mg/kg diet) also produced an increase in relative liver weight and a decrease in cell-to-cell communication. In recovery studies in which DEHP was administered to male F344 rats for 2 weeks and then withdrawn, the relative liver weight, rate of peroxisomal β oxidation, increase in replicative DNA synthesis, and inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication returned to control values within 2 to 4 weeks after DEHP treatment ceased. Recovery studies with phenobarbital produced similar results. The primary active metabolite of DEHP, mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), was detected in the livers of animals treated with DEHP for greater than 2 weeks. However, it could not be detected after removal of DEHP from the diet for 2 weeks. This study demonstrated that inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication, along with indicators of peroxisomal proliferation, including increased relative liver weight and enhanced peroxisomal β oxidation, persist while DEHP treatment continues but reverses when treatment is stopped. Studies with phenobarbital produced a similar pattern of response.
Keywords: DEHP; phenobarbital; liver; peroxisome proliferation; DNA synthesis; gap-junctional intercellular communication
Journal Article. 5696 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)
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