Cellular and molecular etiology of hepatocyte injury in a murine model of environmentally induced liver abnormality
Exposures to a wide variety of environmental substances are negatively associated with many biological cell systems both in humans and rodents. Trichloroethane (TCE), a ubiquitous environmental toxicant, is used in large quantities as a dissolvent, metal degreaser, chemical intermediate, and component of consumer products. This increases the likelihood of human exposure to these compounds through dermal, inhalation and oral routes. The present in vivo study was aimed to investigate the possible cellular and molecular etiology of liver abnormality induced by early exposure to TCE using a murine model. The results showed a significant increase in liver weight. Histopathological examination revealed a TCE-induced hepatotoxicity which appeared as heavily congested central vein and blood sinusoids as well as leukocytic infiltration. Mitotic figures and apoptotic changes such as chromatin condensation and nuclear fragments were also identified. Cell death analysis demonstrates hepatocellular apoptosis was evident in the treated mice compared to control. TCE was also found to induce oxidative stress as indicated by an increase in the levels of lipid peroxidation, an oxidative stress marker. There was also a significant decrease in the DNA content of the hepatocytes of the treated groups compared to control. Agarose gel electrophoresis also provided further biochemical evidence of apoptosis by showing internucleosomal DNA fragmentation in the liver cells, indicating oxidative stress as the cause of DNA damage. These results suggest the need for a complete risk assessment of any new chemical prior to its arrival into the consumer market.
Keywords: Apoptosis, DNA damage, Environmental toxicant, Liver, Oxidative stress.