Author(s): Bagchi D, Bagchi M, Stohs SJ
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Abstract Chromium (VI) is a widely used industrial chemical, extensively used in paints, metal finishes, steel including stainless steel manufacturing, alloy cast irons, chrome, and wood treatment. On the contrary, chromium (III) salts such as chromium polynicotinate, chromium chloride and chromium picolinate, are used as micronutrients and nutritional supplements, and have been demonstrated to exhibit a significant number of health benefits in rodents and humans. However, the cause for the hexavalent chromium to induce cytotoxicity is not entirely understood. A series of in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that chromium (VI) induces an oxidative stress through enhanced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to genomic DNA damage and oxidative deterioration of lipids and proteins. A cascade of cellular events occur following chromium (VI)-induced oxidative stress including enhanced production of superoxide anion and hydroxyl radicals, increased lipid peroxidation and genomic DNA fragmentation, modulation of intracellular oxidized states, activation of protein kinase C, apoptotic cell death and altered gene expression. In this paper, we have demonstrated concentration- and time-dependent effects of sodium dichromate (chromium (VI) or Cr (VI)) on enhanced production of superoxide anion and hydroxyl radicals, changes in intracellular oxidized states as determined by laser scanning confocal microscopy, DNA fragmentation and apoptotic cell death (by flow cytometry) in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These results were compared with the concentration-dependent effects of chromium (VI) on chronic myelogenous leukemic K562 cells and J774A.1 murine macrophage cells. Chromium (VI)-induced enhanced production of ROS, as well as oxidative tissue and DNA damage were observed in these cells. More pronounced effect was observed on chronic myelogenous leukemic K562 cells and J774A.1 murine macrophage cells. Furthermore, we have assessed the effect of a single oral LD50 dose of chromium (VI) on female C57BL/6Ntac and p53-deficient C57BL/6TSG p53 mice on enhanced production of superoxide anion, lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation in the hepatic and brain tissues. Chromium (VI)-induced more pronounced oxidative damage in p53 deficient mice. This in vivo study highlighted that apoptotic regulatory protein p53 may play a major role in chromium (VI)-induced oxidative stress and toxicity. Taken together, oxidative stress and oxidative tissue damage, and a cascade of cellular events including modulation of apoptotic regulatory gene p53 are involved in chromium (VI)-induced toxicity and carcinogenesis.
This article was published in Mol Cell Biochem
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology