Toxicologic pathology

Decreases in binding capacity of the mitochondrial 18 kda translocator protein accompany oxidative stress and pathological signs in rat liver after DMBA exposure.

PMID 21037200


7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) presents a pollutant implicated in various toxicological effects. The aim of this experiment was to study the effects of DMBA administration on oxidative stress, histopathological signs, and 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) binding characteristics in rat liver. We also studied the effects of dose stoichiometry, dose frequency, and duration of protocol of DMBA administration. In this study, rats surviving eighteen weeks after DMBA exposure showed mild to moderate histopathological changes in the liver, mainly characterized by glossy appearance of hepatocytes, heterochromatic nuclei, and glycogen overload in the midzonal region of the hepatic lobe. These changes were accompanied by significant rises in oxidant levels, along with declines in nonenzymic antioxidants, indicating that DMBA induced oxidative stress in the liver. This finding correlated well with decreases in TSPO binding capacity in the liver of the rats in our study. Other studies have shown that TSPO can be affected by oxidative stress, as well as contribute to oxidative stress at mitochondrial levels. Further studies are needed to assay whether the decreases in TSPO density in the liver are part of the damaging effects caused by DMBA or a compensatory response to the oxidative stress induced by DMBA.

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