Journal of proteome research

DBT- and DBTO2-induced dysplasia and their associated proteomic alterations in the small intestines of Wistar rats.

PMID 25369245


Dibenzothiophene (DBT) and its oxidized derivative dibenzothiophene sulfone (DBTO2) are important representatives of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Due to the importance of PAHs in oncogenesis and the lack of toxicological investigations related to DBT and DBTO2, this work proposes to assess their toxic and molecular effects caused by chronic treatment of Wistar rats. In parallel, their effects were compared to those caused by treatment with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH), a classic mutagenic agent. At the 14th day post-treatment, the animals were sacrificed and blood withdrawn for hematology and evaluation of liver and pancreatic functions. No significant alterations were observed. Nevertheless, histopathological analyses revealed dysplastic lesions in the intestines of animals treated with DBT and DBTO2. CD44 and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) staining demonstrated an approximately 3-fold increase in expression of both tissue markers for animals administered DBT, DBTO2, and DMH. A comparative two-dimensional gel analysis revealed additional 23 proteins exhibiting altered levels in the small intestines caused by exposure to DBT and DBTO2. At last, a protein-metabolite interaction map provided major insights into the metabolism of the dysplastic tissues. Our results provided strong evidence that DBT and its derivative could potentially act as cancer inducers, highlighting their toxicological and environmental relevance.