Liver and kidney damage induced by 4-aminopyridine in a repeated dose (28 days) oral toxicity study in rats: gene expression profile of hybrid cell death

María Teresa Frejo, Javier Del Pino, Margarita Lobo, Jimena García, Miguel Andrés Capo, María Jesús Díaz
Toxicology Letters 2014 March 3, 225 (2): 252-63
4-Aminopyridine (4-AP) is an orphan drug indicated for the treatment of neuromuscular disorders. There is a great controversy around the use of this drug because of its narrow safety index and because a large number of adverse effects have been reported. Moreover, it was shown to induce cell death in different cell lines, being reported mainly apoptosis and necrosis as the principal pathways of cell death mediated by blockage of K channels or the Na, K-ATPase, but until now it was not described in vivo cell death induced by 4-aminipyridine. To provide new subchronic toxicity data and specifically, evaluate if 4-AP is able to induce in vivo cell death process and the main pathways related to it, a repeated dose (28 days) oral toxicity study, at therapeutic range of doses, was conducted in rats. The anatomical pathology, the biochemical and hematological parameters were analyzed and a real-time PCR array analysis was developed with an Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). The leucocytes number, the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) enzymatic activity were increased at all dose but the erythrocytes number, the hemoglobin concentration, the alkaline phosphatase (FAL) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) enzymatic activity were increased only at highest dose studied. However, glucose levels decreased at all doses. The biochemical results are indicative of hepatic damage. The anatomy pathology studies showed cell death only on liver and kidney, and the real-time PCR array on liver tissue expressed a gene expression profile of necrotic and apoptotic induced cell death. The present work shows for the first time in vivo cell death on liver and kidney with features of apoptosis and necrosis induced by 4-AP and the gene expression profile shows that the cell death is mediated by necrotic and apoptotic pathways that support this finding.

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