Toxicology and applied pharmacology

Permanent uncoupling of male-specific CYP2C11 transcription/translation by perinatal glutamate.

PMID 25697375


Perinatal exposure of rats and mice to the typically reported 4mg/g bd wt dose of monosodium glutamate (MSG) results in a complete block in GH secretion as well as obesity, growth retardation and a profound suppression of several cytochrome P450s, including CYP2C11, the predominant male-specific isoform--all irreversible effects. In contrast, we have found that a lower dose of the food additive, 2mg/g bd wt on alternate days for the first 9days of life results in a transient neonatal depletion of plasma GH, a subsequent permanent overexpression of CYP2C11 as well as subnormal (mini) GH pulse amplitudes in an otherwise normal adult masculine episodic GH profile. The overexpressed CYP2C11 was characterized by a 250% increase in mRNA, but only a 40 to 50% increase in CYP2C11 protein and its catalytic activity. Using freshly isolated hepatocytes as well as primary cultures exposed to the masculine-like episodic GH profile, we observed normal induction, activation, nuclear translocation and binding to the CYP2C11 promoter of the GH-dependent signal transducers required for CYP2C11 transcription. The disproportionately lower expression levels of CYP2C11 protein were associated with dramatically high expression levels of an aberrant, presumably nontranslated CYP2C11 mRNA, a 200% increase in CYP2C11 ubiquitination and a 70-80% decline in miRNAs associated, at normal levels, with a suppression of CYP2C expression. Whereas the GH-responsiveness of CYP2C7 and CYP2C6 as well as albumin was normal in the MSG-derived hepatocytes, the abnormal expression of CYP2C11 was permanent and irreversible.