It is known that a high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in rat liver can be induced by such azo dye carcinogens as 3'-methyl-4-dimethylaminoazobenzene (3'-MeDAB). Thymidine kinase (TK) catalyzes the formation of deoxythymidine monophosphate (dTMP) by the phosphorylation of thymidine via the salvage pathway. In the present study, we investigated serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) and TK levels, and tissue TK and its isozyme activities in the liver of rats treated with 3'-MeDAB. Serum TK activities rose abruptly directly after the onset of 3'-MeDAB treatment, peaking after 1 week and then gradually decreasing. At 3 weeks, though serum TK was decreasing, serum AFP and tissue TK began to increase, and oval cells appeared in the liver. At 5 weeks, though serum TK reached a nadir, serum AFP and tissue TK formed transient peaks, and oval cells occupied a major part of the hepatic lobules with hyperplastic nodules. Thereafter, serum TK continued to increase, and serum AFIP and tissue TK, after transiently decreasing, re-increased; at 20 weeks, each value was at high level, and mixed type hepatocarcinoma was observed. The liver TK isozymes were separated into three types by DEAE-cellulose column chromatography. A 3'-MeDAB diet induced a remarkable increase in activity of cytosolic and fetal type isozyme in non-tumorous regions of livers at 5 weeks and tumorous regions at 20 weeks. These results indicate that early biochemical changes in 3'-MeDAB-induced hepatocarcinoma in rats may serve as a useful model and provide a valuable insight in hepatocarcinogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research