Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) refer to organic compounds that are byproducts of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and wood. One specific polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, 2-aminoanthracene (2AA), is a member of a broader group of compounds known as anthracenes, which have been classified by the United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) as one of a group of PAHs of top concern based on their greater potential risk for exposure and greater harmful effects to humans, compared to other PAHs. Previous research has shown that 2AA affects genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, inflammatory stress responses, and immune system responses, among other processes. The objective of the present study was to examine the toxicity of dietary ingestion of 2AA from gestation through the postnatal period. Pregnant dams (Day 1) were purchased from Taconic Hudson, NY, and assigned into dose regimens of 0 mg/kg- (control-C), 50 mg/kg- (low dose-LD) and 100 mg/kg-diet (high dose-HD) 2AA. Dams were fed 2AA contaminated diet during the period of gestation and postpartum. Insulin and H&E immunohistochemical staining were undertaken and indicated no significant changes between control and treated groups. However, percent pancreatic islets (islets within the pancreas) were larger in the exposed groups. The value was 1.5% in the control dams compared to 3.2% and 4.3% low dose and high dose groups respectively. Serum concentrations of albumin and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were increased in the exposed groups, with the HD group experiencing the greater increase. Analyses of Fabp4, Mgmt , Fas, Nhej1, Aldh1a1 and Ncam1 were conducted via real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-pPCR), using β-Actin as the control gene. There was an up-regulation of the Mgmt and Nhej1 gene transcripts in the exposed groups, with the extent of upregulation being highest in the HD group. Taken together, a link between environmental exposure to 2AA and pancreatic effects appears to exist.
Keywords: 2-Aminoanthracene (2AA); Sprague Dawley dams; diabetes; pancreatic islets; toxicity.