Benzo(a)pyrene-induced alterations in growth-related gene expression and signaling in precision-cut adult rat liver and kidney slices

Alan R. Parrish, Robyn Fisher, Christopher M. Bral, Robert C. Burghardt, A. Jay Gandolfi, Klaus Brendel, Kenneth S. Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and related aromatic hydrocarbons are suspected carcinogens; however, the molecular basis underlying tumorigenesis remains unclear. To identify acute molecular targets of BaP within the liver and kidney, precision-cut slices harvested from naive, adult female Sprague- Dawley rats were challenged with BaP (0.3-30 μM) for 0.5 to 24 h. BaP did not elicit cytotoxicity, as assessed by intracellular K+ and ATP content and histological evaluation over the 24-h period. To determine if molecular signaling pathways were maintained in precision-cut slices, induction of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway was assessed following BaP challenge. Induction of cytochrome P450IA1 (P450IA1) mRNA and protein expression was observed in both liver and kidney slices. c-fos and c-Ha-ras gene expression was enhanced in liver, but not kidney, slices by BaP. c-jun mRNA levels were decreased in liver and kidney slices, although the effect was earlier (0.5 h) in liver slices compared to kidney slices. BaP increased the DNA binding of nuclear proteins to the AP-1 consensus recognition element in liver, but decreased DNA binding in kidney slices. In contrast, DNA binding of NF-κB was not affected by BaP in either liver or kidney slices. These results suggest that acute BaP challenge is associated with altered expression of several growth-related genes and AP-1 signaling and establish precision-cut slices as a useful in vitro system to investigate the molecular basis of BaP- induced tumorigenesis, including organ-specific differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-308
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1998


  • AP-1
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Kidney slices
  • Liver slices
  • NF- κB
  • c-Ha-ras
  • c-fos
  • c-jun

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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