Enhanced mitochondrial gene transcript, ATP, Bcl-2 protein levels, and altered glutathione distribution in ethinyl estradiol-treated cultured female rat hepatocytes

Jinqiang Chen, Michael Delannoy, Shelly Odwin, Ping He, Michael A. Trush, James D. Yager

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Ethinyl estradiol (EE) is a strong promoter and weak hepatocarcinogen in rats. Previously, we demonstrated that EE enhanced the transcript levels of nuclear genome- and mitochondrial genome-encoded genes and respiratory chain activity in female rat liver, and also inhibited transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-induced apoptosis in cultured liver slices and hepatocytes from female rats. In this study, using cultured female rat hepatocytes, we observed that EE, within 24 h, increased the transcript levels of the mitochondrial genome-encoded genes cytochrome oxidase subunits I, II, and III. This effect was accompanied by increased mitochondrial respiratory chain activity, as reflected by increased mitochondrial superoxide generation, and detected by lucigenin-derived chemiluminescence and cellular ATP levels. EE also enhanced the levels of Bcl-2 protein. Biochemical analyses indicated that EE significantly increased both the levels of glutathione (reduced [GSH] and oxidized [GSSG] forms) per mg protein in mitochondria and nuclei, while the percentage of total glutathione in the oxidized form was not affected. This finding was supported by confocal microscopy. These effects caused by EE may contribute, at least in part, to the EE-mediated inhibition of hepatic apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalToxicological Sciences
Volume75
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Ethinyl estradiol
  • Glutathione
  • Mitochondria
  • Rat hepatocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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