The Journal of toxicological sciences

Time course observation of thyroid proliferative lesions and serum levels of related hormones in rats treated with kojic acid after DHPN initiation.

PMID 10478329


Time course changes in thyroid proliferative lesions as well as related hormone levels in the blood of male F344 rats given N-bis(2-hydroxypropyl)nitrosamine (DHPN: 2800 mg/kg body weight, single s.c. injection) as an initiation treatment followed by pulverized basal diet containing 0% (Group 2), 2% (Group 3) or 4% (Group 4) kojic acid (KA) were examined at Weeks 1, 2, 4, 8 and 12. As an untreated control group (Group 1), rats were given basal diet for 13 weeks and examined in the same manner. Serum T3/T4 levels in the DHPN + 2% KA and DHPN + 4% KA groups were significantly reduced as compared with the DHPN-alone group at each time point. Serum TSH levels in both DHPN + KA groups were significantly increased at each time point in a treatment period-dependent manner from Weeks 1 to 12, and the extent of elevation was more remarkable in the DHPN + 4% KA group. At Week 2, there were no statistically significant intergroup differences in liver T4-UDP-GT activities on a milligram microsomal protein basis. Histopathologically, no thyroid proliferative lesions were observed in the untreated control group or the DHPN-alone group. However, diffuse follicular cell hypertrophy and decreased colloid in the thyroid were apparent in all rats of the DHPN + KA groups at each time point. In addition, focal follicular cell hyperplasias and adenomas of the thyroid were observed at high incidence in the DHPN + 2% KA group from Week 4 and in the DHPN + 4% KA group from Week 8. Multiplicities of focal follicular cell hyperplasias and adenomas of the thyroid in the DHPN + 2% KA group were significantly greater than those in the DHPN + 4% KA group at Week 8. In the pituitary, an increase in the number of TSH producing cells with expanded cytoplasm was apparent from Weeks 4 to 12 in both DHPN + KA groups. These results strongly suggest that thyroid proliferative lesions were induced by KA administration due to continuous serum TSH stimulation through the negative feedback mechanism of the pituitary-thyroid axis, resulting from depression of serum T3 and T4.

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Kojic acid