Nesnow, S, et al., Propiconazole Induces Alterations in the Hepatic Metabolome of Mice: Relevance to Propiconazole-Induced Hepatocarcinogenesis. Toxicol Sci, 2011. 120(2): 297-309.


Propiconazole is a mouse hepatotumorigenic fungicide and has been the subject of recent investigations into its carcinogenic mechanism of action. The goals of this study were (1) to identify metabolomic changes induced in the liver by increasing doses of propiconazole in mice, (2) to interpret these results with key previously reported biochemical, transcriptomic, and proteomic findings obtained from mouse liver under the same treatment conditions, and (3) to relate these alterations to those associated with the carcinogenesis process. Propiconazole was administered to male CD-1 mice in the feed for 4 days with six mice per feed level (500, 1250, and 2500 ppm). The 2500 ppm dose level had previously been shown to induce both adenocarcinomas and adenomas in mouse liver after a 2-year continuous feed regimen. Endogenous biochemicals were profiled using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry methods and 261 were detected. The most populous biochemical class detected was lipids, followed by amino acids and then carbohydrates. Nucleotides, cofactors and vitamins, energy, peptides, and xenobiotics were also represented. Of the biochemicals detected, 159 were significantly altered by at least one dose of propiconazole and many showed strong dose responses. Many alterations in the levels of biochemicals were found in the glycogen metabolism, glycolysis, lipolysis, carnitine, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle pathways Several groups of metabolomic responses were ascribed to the metabolism and clearance of propiconazole: glucuronate, glutathione, and cysteine pathways. Groups of metabolic responses supported previous hypotheses on key events that can lead to propiconazole-induced tumorigenesis: oxidative stress and increases in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. Groups of metabolomic responses identified biomarkers associated with neoplasia: increases in glycolysis and increases in the levels of spermidine, sarcosine, and pseudouridine. These results extended the companion transcriptomic and proteomic studies and provided a more complete understanding of propiconazole's effects in mouse liver.

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