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Modulation of chemical carcinogen-induced unscheduled DNA synthesis by dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the primary rat hepatocytes

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Modulation of unscheduled DNA synthesis by dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) after exposure to various chemical carcinogens was investigated in the primary rat hepatocytes. Unscheduled DNA synthesis was induced by treatment of such direct acting carcinogens as methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) or procarcinogens including benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA). Unscheduled DNA synthesis was determined by measuring [methyl-3H]thymidine radioactivity incorporated into nuclear DNA of hepatocytes treated with carcinogens in the presence or absence of DHEA. Hydroxyurea (5×10−3 M) was added to growth medium to selectively suppress normal replication. DHEA at concentrations ranging from 1×10−6 M to 5×10−4 M did not significantly inhibit unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by either MMS (1×10−4 M) or EMS (1×10−2 M). In contrast, DHEA significantly inhibited unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by BaP (6.5×10−5 M) and DMBA (2×10−5 M). DHEA-induced hepatotoxicity in rats was examined using lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release as an indicator of cytotoxicity. DHEA exhibit no significant increase in LDH release compared with the solvent control at 18 h. These data suggest that nontoxic concentration of DHEA does not affect the DNA excision repair process, but it probably influence the enzymatic system responsible for the metabolic activation of procarcinogens and thereby decreases the amount of the effective DNA adducts formed by the ultimate reactive carcinogenic species.

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Correspondence to Seung Hee Kim.

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Kim, S.H., Han, H., Kang, S.Y. et al. Modulation of chemical carcinogen-induced unscheduled DNA synthesis by dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the primary rat hepatocytes. Arch Pharm Res 22, 474 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02979155

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Key words

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Unscheduled DNA synthesis
  • Primary rat hepatocytes