Various forms of chemically induced liver injury and their detection by diagnostic procedures.
A large number of chemical agents, administered for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes, can produce various types of hepatic injury by several mechanisms. Some agents are intrinsically hepatotoxic, and others produce hepatic injury only in the rare, uniquely susceptible individual. Idiosyncrasy of the host is the mechanism for most types of drug-induced hepatic injury. It may reflect allergy to the drug or a metabolic aberation of the host permitting the accumulation of hepatotoxic metabolites. The syndromes of hepatic disease produced by drugs have been classified hepatocellular, hepatocanalicular, mixed and canalicular. Measurement of serum enzyme activities has provided a powerful tool for studies of hepatotoxicity. Their measurement requires awareness of relative specificity, knowledge of the mechanisms involved, and knowledge of the relationship between known hepatotoxic states and elevated enzyme activities. (+info)
Assessment of hepatotoxic potential.
Philosophic concepts and pragmatic approaches toward improved understanding of the effect of drugs in the hepatocyte are reviewed. No set pattern of studies is advocated but rather observations are encouraged within the framework of studies that provide for varied exposure of the hepatocyte. Clinical usage should be imitated to provide earliest possible indications of toxicity in man. The need for definitive characterization through utilization of appropriate methodology derived from cross-fertilization of related disciplines is stressed. Both minimal and maximal dose effects should be established. Selected use of electron microscopy has become essential for characterizing responses of the liver to injury. The advantages of the toluidine blue-stained Epon "thick" sections are emphasized. Such observations are used to implement the utility of serial biopsies from the beagle dog prior to and during long-term study of potential hepatic injury. Examples of the critical effects of drug concentration within the hepatocyte are presented. (+info)
Endemic tropical sprue in Rhodesia.
The existence of tropical sprue in Africa is controversial. In this paper we present 31 cases seen in Rhodesia over a 15 month period. They have the clinical features, small intestinal morphology, malabsorption pattern, and treatment response of tropical sprue. Other causes of malabsorption, and primary malnutrition, have been excluded. The severity of the clinical state and intestinal malabsorption distinguish these patients from those we have described with tropical enteropathy. The previous work on tropical sprue in Africa is reviewed and it is apparent that, when it has been adequately looked for, it has been found. It is clear that the question of tropical sprue in Africa must be re-examined and that it existence may have hitherto been concealed by the assumption that primary malnutrition is responsible for the high prevalence of deficiency states. (+info)
In vivo chaperone activity of heat shock protein 70 and thermotolerance.
Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is thought to play a critical role in the thermotolerance of mammalian cells, presumably due to its chaperone activity. We examined the chaperone activity and cellular heat resistance of a clonal cell line in which overexpression of Hsp70 was transiently induced by means of the tetracycline-regulated gene expression system. This single-cell-line approach circumvents problems associated with clonal variation and indirect effects resulting from constitutive overexpression of Hsp70. The in vivo chaperone function of Hsp70 was quantitatively investigated by using firefly luciferase as a reporter protein. Chaperone activity was found to strictly correlate to the level of Hsp70 expression. In addition, we observed an Hsp70 concentration dependent increase in the cellular heat resistance. In order to study the contribution of the Hsp70 chaperone activity, heat resistance of cells that expressed tetracycline-regulated Hsp70 was compared to thermotolerant cells expressing the same level of Hsp70 plus all of the other heat shock proteins. Overexpression of Hsp70 alone was sufficient to induce a similar recovery of cytoplasmic luciferase activity, as does expression of all Hsps in thermotolerant cells. However, when the luciferase reporter protein was directed to the nucleus, expression of Hsp70 alone was not sufficient to yield the level of recovery observed in thermotolerant cells. In addition, cells expressing the same level of Hsp70 found in heat-induced thermotolerant cells containing additional Hsps showed increased resistance to thermal killing but were more sensitive than thermotolerant cells. These results suggest that the inducible form of Hsp70 contributes to the stress-tolerant state by increasing the chaperone activity in the cytoplasm. However, its expression alone is apparently insufficient for protection of other subcellular compartments to yield clonal heat resistance to the level observed in thermotolerant cells. (+info)
Inducible long-term gene expression in brain with adeno-associated virus gene transfer.
Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors hold promise for treating a number of neurological disorders due to the ability to deliver long-term gene expression without toxicity or immune response. Critical to these endeavors will be controlled expression of the therapeutic gene in target cells. We have constructed and tested a dual cassette rAAV vector carrying a reporter gene under the control of the tetracycline-responsive system and the tetracycline transactivator. Transduction in vitro resulted in stable expression from the vector that can be suppressed 20-fold by tetracycline treatment. In vivo experiments, carried out to 6 weeks, demonstrated that vector-transduced expression is sustained until doxycycline administration upon which reporter gene expression is reduced. Moreover, the suppression of vector-driven expression can be reversed by removal of the drug. These studies demonstrate long-term regulated gene expression from rAAV vectors. This system will provide a valuable approach for controlling vector gene expression both in vitro and in vivo. (+info)
Transcriptional regulation and induction of apoptosis: implications for the use of monomeric p53 variants in gene therapy.
The p53 tumour suppressor protein is a transcriptional activator, which can induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. p53 Gene mutations occur in more than 50% of all human tumours. Reintroduction of wild-type p53 but also of oligomerisation-independent p53 variants into tumour cells by gene transfer methods has been considered. We have investigated the biological properties of two carboxy-terminal deletion mutants of p53, p53 delta 300 (comprising amino acids 1-300) and p53 delta 326 (amino acids 1-326), to evaluate their potential deployment in gene therapy. Transactivation was measured in transiently transfected HeLa and SKBR3 cells. Both monomeric variants showed reduced activities compared with wild-type p53. Individual promoters were differently affected. In contrast to wild-type p53, monomeric variants were not able to induce apoptosis. We also provided wild-type p53 and p53 delta 326 with tetracycline-regulated promoters and stably introduced these constructs into Saos2 and SKBR3 cells. Upon induction, wild-type p53 expressing cells, but not p53 delta 326 expressing cells underwent apoptosis. Consistently, only wild-type p53 expressing cells accumulated p21/waf1/cip1 mRNA and protein and showed increased bax, Gadd45 and mdm2 mRNA. Neither wild-type p53 nor p53 delta 326 repressed the transcription of the IGF-1R gene in these cell lines. We conclude that the transactivation potential of monomeric, carboxy-terminally truncated p53 is not sufficient to cause induction of the endogenous target genes which trigger apoptosis. (+info)
The stability and fate of a spliced intron from vertebrate cells.
Introns constitute most of the length of typical pre-mRNAs in vertebrate cells. Thus, the turnover rate of introns may significantly influence the availability of ribonucleotides and splicing factors for further rounds of transcription and RNA splicing, respectively. Given the importance of intron turnover, it is surprising that there have been no reports on the half-life of introns from higher eukaryotic cells. Here, we determined the stability of IVS1Cbeta1, the first intron from the constant region of the mouse T-cell receptor-beta, (TCR-beta) gene. Using a tetracycline (tet)-regulated promoter, we demonstrate that spliced IVS1Cbeta1 and its pre-mRNA had half-lives of 6.0+/-1.4 min and 3.7+/-1.0 min, respectively. We also examined the half-lives of these transcripts by using actinomycin D (Act.D). Act.D significantly stabilized IVS1Cbeta1 and its pre-mRNA, suggesting that Act.D not only blocks transcription but exerts rapid and direct posttranscriptional effects in the nucleus. We observed that in vivo spliced IVS1Cbeta1 accumulated predominantly as lariat molecules that use a consensus branchpoint nucleotide. The accumulation of IVS1Cbeta1 as a lariat did not result from an intrinsic inability to be debranched, as it could be debranched in vitro, albeit somewhat less efficiently than an adenovirus intron. Subcellular-fractionation and sucrose-gradient analyses showed that most spliced IVS1Cbeta1 lariats cofractionated with pre-mRNA, but not always with mRNA in the nucleus. Some IVS1Cbeta1 also appeared to be selectively exported to the cytoplasm, whereas TCR-beta pre-mRNA remained in the nucleus. This study constitutes the first detailed analysis of the stability and fate of a spliced nuclear intron in vivo. (+info)
Functional importance and local environments of the cysteines in the tetracycline resistance protein encoded by plasmid pBR322.
The properties of the cysteines in the pBR322-encoded tetracycline resistance protein have been examined. Cysteines are important but not essential for tetracycline transport activity. None of the cysteines reacted with biotin maleimide, suggesting that they are shielded from the aqueous phase or reside in a negatively charged local environment. (+info)