Comparative analysis of transcriptomic responses to repeated-dose exposure to 2-MCPD and 3-MCPD in rat kidney, liver and testis

Food Chem Toxicol. 2017 Aug;106(Pt A):36-46. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2017.05.028. Epub 2017 May 15.


3-Chloro-1,2-propanediol (3-MCPD) and its isomer 2-chloro-1,3-propanediol (2-MCPD) are heat-induced food contaminants present in oil- and fat-containing foodstuff. Kidney and testes are among the main target organs of 3-MCPD. Almost no data on 2-MCPD toxicity are available. Here, transcriptomic responses following repeated-dose exposure of rats to non-toxic doses of 10 mg/kg body weight per day 2-MCPD or 3-MCPD for 28 days were characterized by microarray analysis of kidney, liver, and testes. 3-MCPD exerted more pronounced effects than 2-MCPD in all organs. The limited overlap between the datasets indicates that 2-MCPD and 3-MCPD do not share the same molecular mechanisms of toxicity. By combining transcriptomic data with datasets on proteomic regulation by 3-MCPD, a comprehensive view on 3-MCPD-induced regulation of glucose utilization and oxidative stress response was developed. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that Nrf2 (nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2) signaling is likely to be involved in mediating the oxidative stress response to 3-MCPD. In summary, this study for the first time presents data on alterations in global gene expression by two important food contaminants, 2-MCPD and 3-MCPD. Data demonstrate profound differences between the effects of the two compounds and substantially broaden our knowledge on molecular details of 3-MCPD-induced disturbance of glucose utilization and redox balance.

Keywords: 2-Chloro-1,3-propanediol; 3-Chloro-1,2-propanediol; Food contaminant; Nephrotoxicity; Oral exposure; Toxicogenomics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / genetics
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Transcriptome
  • alpha-Chlorohydrin / toxicity*


  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • Nfe2l2 protein, rat
  • alpha-Chlorohydrin
  • Glucose