Back to Journals » Drug Design, Development and Therapy » Volume 9

Death receptor and mitochondria-mediated hepatocyte apoptosis underlies liver dysfunction in rats exposed to organic pollutants from drinking water

Authors Yang G, Zhou Z, Cen Y, Gui X, Zeng Q, Ao Y, Li Q, Wang S, Li J, Zhang A

Received 18 April 2015

Accepted for publication 28 May 2015

Published 18 August 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 4719—4733


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Shu-Feng Zhou

Guanghong Yang,1 Zhiwei Zhou,2 Yanli Cen,1 Xiaolin Gui,1 Qibing Zeng,1 Yunxia Ao,1 Qian Li,1 Shiran Wang,1 Jun Li,1 Aihua Zhang1

1Key Laboratory of Environment Pollution Monitoring and Disease Control, Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Guiyang Medical University, 2Guizhou Provincial Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Research Center and Sino-US Joint Laboratory for Medical Sciences, Guiyang Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Persistent organic pollutants in drinking water impose a substantial risk to the health of human beings, but the evidence for liver toxic effect and the underlying mechanism is scarce. This study aimed to examine the liver toxicity and elucidate the molecular mechanism of organic pollutants in drinking water in normal human liver cell line L02 cells and rats. The data showed that organic extraction from drinking water remarkably impaired rat liver function, evident from the increase in the serum level of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and cholinesterase, and decrease in the serum level of total protein and albumin. Organic extraction dose-dependently induced apoptotic cell death in rat liver and L02 cells. Administration of rats with organic extraction promoted death receptor signaling pathway through the increase in gene and protein expression level of Fas and FasL. Treatment of rats with organic extraction also induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis via increasing the expression level of proapoptotic protein, Bax, but decreasing the expression level of antiapoptotic protein, Bcl-2, resulting in an upregulation of cytochrome c and activation of caspase cascade at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Moreover, organic extraction enhanced rat liver glutathione S-transferases activity and reactive oxygen species generation, and upregulated aryl hydrocarbon receptor and glutathione S-transferase A1 at both transcriptional and translational levels. Collectively, the results indicate that organic extraction from drinking water impairs liver function, with the involvement of death receptor and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in rats. The results provide evidence and molecular mechanisms for organic pollutants in drinking water-induced liver dysfunction, which may help prevent and treat organic extraction-induced liver injury.

Keywords: Fas/FasL pathway, mitochondrial pathway, liver injury

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]