Endometrial adenocarcinoma in the uterine corpus is a malignant cancer that occurs in menopausal women and aged rodents. Because of the similarities in pathogenesis and morphology of endometrial adenocarcinoma in rodents and humans, prediction of the modes of action (MOA) in uterine carcinogenesis is important for extrapolation of rodent data to humans. Three MOAs have been accepted as major pathways for uterine carcinogenesis in rodents: 1) estrogenic activity, 2) increased serum 17beta-estradiiol (E2) to progesterone (P4) ratio and 3) modulation of estrogen metabolism to produce 4-hydroxyestradiol via P450 induction. Inhibition of estrogen excretion and increased aromatase in situ in the tumor are also a potential pathway. Here, chemicals showing uterine carcinogenicity were chosen from approximately 300 pesticides evaluated in Japan within the past decade, and their mechanisms were predicted using parameters from mechanistic and toxicity studies. Seven pesticides increased uterine tumor formation in rats, and the pathways of 4 pesticides could be predicted based on various mechanistic studies. The MOAs of cyenopyrafen and benthiavalicarb-isopropyl were predicted to be modulation of estrogen metabolism, while those of pyriminobac-methyl and spirodiclofen were predicted to be increased E2 to P4 ratio. The driven pathways of metazosulfuron and isopyrazam could not be predicted using several mechanistic studies. No mechanistic studies have been reported for sedaxane, which has a chemical structure and toxicological profile similar to isopyrazam. Our results indicated that appropriate mechanistic studies are useful for mechanism prediction in risk assessment. From this analysis, a flowchart showing a decision tree for predictive MOAs in uterine carcinogenesis was proposed.
Keywords: mechanism; pesticide; prediction; uterine carcinogenesis.