Journal Article

Differential Hepatotoxicity Induced by Cadmium in Fischer 344 and Sprague-Dawley Rats

Robert K. Kuester, Michael P. Waalkes, Peter L. Goering, Ben L. Fisher, Robert S. McCuskey and I. Glenn Sipes

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 65, issue 1, pages 151-159
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Differential Hepatotoxicity Induced by Cadmium in Fischer 344 and Sprague-Dawley Rats

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A number of reports document that Fischer 344 (F344) rats are more susceptible to chemically induced liver injury than Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Cadmium (CdCl2), a hepatotoxicant that does not require bioactivation, was used to better define the biological events that are responsible for the differences in liver injury between F344 and SD rats. CdCl2 (3 mg/kg) produced hepatotoxicity in both rat strains, but the hepatic injury was 18-fold greater in F344 rats as assessed by plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity. This difference in toxicity was not observed when isolated hepatocytes were incubated with CdCl2 in vitro, indicating that other cell types contribute to Cd-induced hepatotoxicity in vivo. Indeed, the sieve plates of hepatic endothelial cells (EC) in F344 rats were damaged to a greater degree than EC in SD rats. Additionally, Kupffer cell (KC) inhibition reduced hepatotoxicity in both strains, suggesting that this cell type is involved in the progression of CdCl2-induced hepatotoxicity. Moreover, enhanced synthesis of heat shock protein 72 occurred earlier in the SD rat. Maximal levels of hepatic metallothionein (MT), a protein associated with cadmium tolerance, were greater in SD rats. These protective factors may limit CdCl2-induced hepatocellular injury in SD compared with F344 rats by reducing KC activation and the subsequent inflammatory response that allows for the progression of hepatic injury.

Keywords: cadmium; liver; Sprague-Dawley; Fischer344; heat shock protein 72; metallothionein; Kupffer cell; endothelial cell

Journal Article.  5895 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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