Blood Res  
Potential biomarkers and antagonists for fluoranthene-induced cellular toxicity of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells
Md Moinul Hoque1, 2, Young Eun Lee1, 2, Hye Ran Kim3, Myung Geun Shin1, 2
1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Mitochondrial Research Laboratory, 2Brain Korea 21 Plus Program, Chonnam National University Medical School, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, 3College of Korean Medicine, Dongshin University, Naju, Korea
Correspondence to: Hye Ran Kim, Ph. D.
College of Korean Medicine, Dongshin University, 9, Dongsindae-gil, Naju-si, Jeonnam 58245, Korea

Myung Geun Shin, M.D., Ph. D
Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, 322, Seoyang-ro, Hwasun-eup, Hwasun-gun, Jeonnam 58128, Korea
Published online: December 2, 2019.
© The Korean Journal of Hematology. All rights reserved.

Background: Fluoranthene (FR) is a common environmental pollutant that exists in a complex mixture with other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We identified biomarkers for monitoring FR exposure and investigated the rescue effect of FR-induced cellular toxicity via aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) antagonist activity in bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs).
Methods: Morphological changes, viability, and rescue effects of an AHR antagonist (CH223191) were examined in BM-MSCs after exposure to FR. Cytotoxic effects were assayed using the tetrazolium-based colorimetric assay. Apoptosis was measured by annexin V and propidium iodide dye-based flowcytometry assay, mitochondrial membrane potential assay, and nuclear DNA fragmentation assay. Molecular signaling pathways of apoptosis and autophagy were investigated using immunoblotting. Proteomics were performed in order to reveal the spectra of cellular damage and identify biomarkers for FR exposure.
Results: Exposing BM-MSCs to FR (IC50 = 50 µM) induced cell death and morphological changes, while the AHR antagonist showed rescue effects. Autophagy was activated and mitochondrial membrane potential was decreased. Proteomic analysis identified 48 deregulated proteins (26 upregulated and 22 downregulated). Among them, annexin A6, pyruvate kinase, UDP-glucose dehydrogenase, and phospholipase A2 could be potential biomarkers for FR exposure.
Conclusions: The exposure of BM-MSCs to FR induced remarkable alterations in cellular biology and the proteome, allowing for identification of novel biomarkers for FR exposure. Furthermore, AHR antagonists might be able to prevent cellular damage due to FR exposure.
Keywords: Fluoranthene, Biomarker, Aryl hydrocarbon receptor antagonist


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