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Hepatic and pulmonary carcinogenicity of methylene chloride in mice: a search for mechanisms
Journal Article --- Old month value: Sep 1
An inhalation study utilizing over 1400 female B6C3F1 mice was undertaken to study mechanistic factors associated with liver and lung tumor induction following exposure to 2000 ppm of methylene chloride. Mice were exposed to methylene chloride (treated) or chamber air (controls) 6 h per day, for varying durations up to 104 weeks. Several interim sacrifices and 'stop exposures' were included. Exposure to 2000 ppm methylene chloride caused an increase in liver and lung neoplasia in the absence of overt cytotoxicity. Measurement of replicative DNA synthesis done after 13, 26, 52 and 78 weeks of exposure showed a significant decrease in the hepatocyte labeling index at 13 weeks. Replicative DNA synthesis in pulmonary airways after 1, 2, 3, 4, 13 and 26 weeks of exposure to methylene chloride was significantly lower than in air-exposed controls. Likewise, the increase in tumor induction in treated mice was not associated with increased replicative DNA synthesis in liver foci or in alveolar parenchyma. The frequency and pattern of H-ras gene activation were similar in control and methylene chloride-induced liver neoplasms. Similarly, the frequency and pattern of K-ras activation in lung neoplasms were not altered by exposure to methylene chloride. Early exposure to methylene chloride for only 26 weeks was sufficient to cause an increase in lung tumors by 2 years, suggesting that methylene chloride may cause early and persistent loss of growth control in lung cells. This implies that risk management strategies should be aimed at minimizing or eliminating exposure to methylene chloride. Liver neoplasms continued to increase in incidence and multiplicity as exposure continued, suggesting that methylene chloride-induced hepatocarcinogenesis is facilitated by continuing exposure to methylene chloride. Since methylene chloride is a more potent inducer of lung than liver neoplasia, it is recommended that health risk assessment be based on the lung data. While no novel molecular lesions have been found to explain the induction of lung and liver neoplasia in mice, ongoing studies may identify other molecular changes that are important in the genesis of these neoplasms. Hence, it may be necessary to revise risk assessment and management strategies in light of future research findings.
Administration, Inhalation Animals Atmosphere Exposure Chambers DNA Replication/drug effects Dose-Response Relationship, Drug Female Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic/drug effects Genes, ras/drug effects Liver Neoplasms, Experimental/*chemically induced Lung Neoplasms/*chemically induced/metabolism Methylene Chloride/administration & dosage/*toxicity Mice Risk Assessment
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