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Molecular insights into the progression of crystalline silica-induced pulmonary toxicity in rats

ABSTRACT: Identification of molecular target(s) and mechanism(s) of silica-induced pulmonary toxicity is important for the intervention and/or prevention of diseases associated with occupational exposure to crystalline silica. Rats were exposed to crystalline silica by inhalation (15 mg/m3, 6 h/day, 5 days) and global gene expression profile was determined in the lungs by microarray analysis at 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 weeks following termination of silica exposure. The number of significantly differentially expressed genes (>1.5 fold change and <0.01 FDR p value) detected in the lungs during the post-exposure time intervals analyzed exhibited a steady increase in parallel with the progression of silica-induced pulmonary toxicity noticed in the rats. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of a representative set of 10 genes confirmed the microarray findings. The various biological functions, canonical pathways, and molecular networks affected by silica exposure, as identified by the bioinformatics analysis of the significantly differentially expressed genes, also exhibited a steady increase similar to the silica-induced pulmonary toxicity. Genes involved in oxidative stress, inflammation, respiratory diseases, cancer, and tissue remodeling and fibrosis were significantly differentially expressed in the rat lungs; however, unresolved lung inflammation was the single most significant biological response to pulmonary exposure to crystalline silica. Excessive mucus production, as implicated by significant overexpression of the pendrin coding gene, SLC26A4, was identified as a novel mechanism for silica-induced pulmonary toxicity. Collectively, the findings of our study provided insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of crystalline silica-induced pulmonary toxicity in the rat and these findings may be useful in future to develop strategies to prevent occupational silicosis. A total of 60 rat lung samples were analyzed in this gene expression experiment. Rats were exposed to crystalline silica at a concentration of 15 mg/m³, 6-hours/day for 5 consecutive days. Rats exposed simultaneously to filtered air served as the controls. The control (n=4) and silica exposed (n=8) rats were sacrificed at post-exposure time intervals of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 weeks following termination of silica exposure and lung gene expression profile was determined.

ORGANISM(S): Rattus norvegicus  

SUBMITTER: Bean Chen   Michael Kashon  Jenny R Roberts  Christina Umbright  David Frazer  Shengqiao Li  Pius Joseph  Walter McKinney  Rajendran Sellamuthu  Amy Cumpston 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-32147 | ArrayExpress | 2012-06-29



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