Glucocorticoid-like effects of antihepatocarcinogen Rotenone are mediated viaenhanced serum corticosterone levels: Molecular Fitting and Receptor Activation Studies
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Abstract Background Recent studies suggest that rotenone alters cell signal transduction pathways in a manner similar to glucocorticoids. Histological and biochemical markers of glucocorticoid effects in vivo, evaluated in our laboratories, provide further evidence for similarities in the activity of glucocorticoids and rotenone. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanism by which rotenone produces glucocorticoid-like effects. Methods Male B6C3F1 mice were treated for 7 days with rotenone (600 ppm in diet), the glucocorticoid antagonist RU486 (2 mg/kg/day, ip), corticosterone (2 mg/kg/day, ip), or both rotenone and RU 486. Control mice received drug-free diet and the vehicle (corn oil, ip). Following preservation in 10% neutral buffered formalin, tissues were embedded in paraffin. Sections were stained with hematoxylin, eosin, and were examined by light microscopy. Tissue sections were processed for in situ enzymatic end labeling of 3'-hydroxy-DNA strand breaks, a measure of apoptosis. Corticosterone was quantified in sera, using a solid phase radioimmunoassay kit. Cells (cell line 1470.2 derived from C127 mouse mammary adenocarcinoma cells) were transiently transfected with 5 μg of pLTRLuc and 1 μg of β-Galactosidase expression vectors using a BTX square-wave pulser at 155 V, 4 pulses (40 ms each). Cells were then treated with dexamethasone, rotenone, or a mixture of both for 6 hr, harvested and assayed for luciferase and β-Galactosidase activity. Using Root Mean Square (RMS) fit analysis (Alchemy™, Tripose, Inc., St Louis, MO), we assessed possible structural similarities between rotenone and corticosterone, dehydrocorticosterone, glucocorticoid antagonists ZK 98.299, and RU 486. RMS fit was calculated by selecting three atoms in each of the molecules, followed by calculating the distance between these atoms. An RMS value of zero between two molecules indicates identical molecular characteristics. A positive value suggests diminished similarity with a value of 1 or higher excluding any such similarities. Results Although the stimulatory effect exerted by rotenone on hepatocellular apoptosis was in the opposite direction of that produced by the glucocorticoid antagonist RU 486, data suggested that rotenone does not directly activate the glucocorticoid receptor. Molecular fitting of rotenone to glucocorticoid receptor agonists and antagonists as well as examination of the transcriptional activation of a glucocorticoid-responsive reporter gene (Mouse MammaryTumorVirus) in response to rotenone indicated that it is highly unlikely that rotenone interacts directly with the glucocorticoid receptor. However, feeding male B6C3F1 mice a diet containing rotenone (600 ppm for 7 days) resulted in a 3-fold increase in serum levels of corticosterone relative to control animals. Corticosterone is the major glucocorticoid in rodents. Conclusion Rotenone does not interact directly with the glucocorticoid receptor. Elevation of serum corticosterone levels in response to rotenone may explain the glucocorticoid-like effects of this compound, and may play a role in its anti-hepatocarcinogenic effect.
Journal of Carcinogenesis. 2003 Feb 14;2(1):2
Jihan Youssef et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.