Renal toxicogenomic response to chronic uranyl nitrate insult in mice

Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Nov;112(16):1628-35. doi: 10.1289/txg.7296.


Although the nephrotoxicity of uranium has been established through numerous animal studies, relatively little is known about the effects of long-term environmental uranium exposure. Using a combination of conventional biochemical studies and serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), we examined the renal responses to uranyl nitrate (UN) chronic exposure. Renal uranium levels were significantly increased 4 months after ingestion of uranium in drinking water. Creatinine levels in serum were slightly but significantly increased compared with those in controls. Although no further significant differences in other parameters were noted, substantial molecular changes were observed in toxicogenomic profiles. UN induced dramatic alterations in expression levels of more than 200 genes, mainly up-regulated, including oxidative-response-related genes, genes encoding for cellular metabolism, ribosomal proteins, signal transduction, and solute transporters. Seven differentially expressed transcripts were confirmed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. In addition, significantly increased peroxide levels support the implication of oxidative stress in UN toxicant response. This report highlights the potential of SAGE for the discovery of novel toxicant-induced gene expression alterations. Here, we present, for the first time, a comprehensive view of renal molecular events after uranium long-term exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • DNA Primers
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / analysis
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oxidative Stress
  • RNA / analysis
  • Random Allocation
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Tagged Sites
  • Uranyl Nitrate / administration & dosage
  • Uranyl Nitrate / toxicity*


  • DNA Primers
  • Uranyl Nitrate
  • RNA
  • Hydrogen Peroxide