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Effects And Mechanism Of Nano-Copper Exposure On Hepatic Cytochrome P450 Enzymes In Rats

Huaqiao Tang, Min Xu, Fei Shi, Gang Ye, Cheng Lv, Jie Luo, Ling Zhao, Yinglun Li

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Although nano-copper is currently used extensively, the adverse effects on liver cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes after oral exposure are not clear. In this study, we determined the effects and mechanisms of action of nano- and micro-copper on the expression and activity of CYP450 enzymes in rat liver. Rats were orally exposed to micro-copper (400 mg/kg), Cu ion (100 mg/kg), or nano-copper (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) daily for seven consecutive days. Histopathological, inflammatory and oxidative stress were measured in the livers of all rats. The mRNA levels and activity of CYP450 enzymes, as well as the mRNA levels of select nuclear receptors, were determined. Exposure to nano-copper (400 mg/kg) induced significant oxidative stress and inflammation relative to the controls, indicated by increased levels of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, interferon (IFN)-γ, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP-1), total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), malondialdehyde (MDA), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitric oxide (NO) after exposure. The levels of mRNA expression of pregnane X receptor (PXR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) were significantly decreased in 400 mg/kg nano-copper treated rats. Nano-copper activated the expression of the NF-kappa B (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 signaling pathways. Nano-copper decreased the mRNA expression and activity of CYP 1A2, 2C11, 2D6, 2E1 and 3A4 in a dose-dependent manner. The adverse effects of micro-copper are less severe than those of nano-copper on the CYP450 enzymes of rats after oral exposure. Ingestion of large amounts of nano-copper in animals severely affects the drug metabolism of the liver by inhibiting the expression of various CYP450 enzymes, which increases the risk of drug-drug interactions in animals.