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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Binding of hexachlorobutadiene to alpha 2u-globulin and its role in nephrotoxicity in rats.

Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) is nephrotoxic in rats causing damage to the proximal tubules. Renal toxicity is presumed to be due to bioactivation by glutathione S-conjugate formation and further processing by the enzymes of the mercapturic acid pathway to reactive intermediates. Recent studies revealed major sex-dependent differences in the pattern of urinary metabolites and gave evidence for the excretion of unmetabolized HCBD in the urine of male, but not female, rats. The objective of this study was to investigate the basis for the excretion of unchanged HCBD in the urine. We administered [14C]-HCBD (200 mg/kg bw, po) to male and female Sprague-Dawley (SD) and NCI Black-Reiter rats (NBR), an alpha 2u-globulin-deficient strain. No major differences in the disposition and in the rates of excretion of [14C]-derived radioactivity were observed between animals of both strains. Previously observed sex-specific differences in the formation of urinary metabolites in Wistar rats were now confirmed in SD rats and were also found in NBR rats. In contrast to male SD rats, however, NBR rats did not excrete unmetabolized HCBD with urine. [14C]-HCBD (10% of total urinary metabolites) was only present in the urine of male SD rats. Anion-exchange HPLC showed radioactivity associated with the alpha 2u-globulin fraction in urine and renal cytosol of male SD rats; the radioactive compound was identified as HCBD bound to the protein. The results indicate that the male-specific urinary excretion of HCBD is associated with its binding to alpha 2u-globulin. Light microscopic examination revealed the formation of hyaline droplets indicative of the accumulation of alpha 2u-globulin in the kidney of male SD rats after staining with Lee's methylene blue basic fuchsin. H&E staining additionally confirmed the finding of more pronounced necrotic changes in renal tubules of male SD rats than in females as previously described for Wistar rats. Binding of HCBD to alpha 2u-globulin may contribute to the pronounced nephrotoxicity in male rats.[1]


  1. Binding of hexachlorobutadiene to alpha 2u-globulin and its role in nephrotoxicity in rats. Pähler, A., Birner, G., Ott, M.M., Dekant, W. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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