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Hazard evaluation of chemicals that cause accumulation of alpha 2u-globulin, hyaline droplet nephropathy, and tubule neoplasia in the kidneys of male rats.

This review paper examines the relationship between chemicals inducing excessive accumulation of alpha 2u-globulin (alpha 2u-g) (CIGA) in hyaline droplets in male rat kidneys and the subsequent development of nephrotoxicity and renal tubule neoplasia in the male rat. This dose-responsive hyaline droplet accumulation distinguishes CIGA carcinogens from classical renal carcinogens. CIGA carcinogens also do not appear to react with DNA and are generally negative in short-term tests for genotoxicity, CIGA or their metabolites bind specifically, but reversibly, to male rat alpha 2u-g. The resulting complex appears to be more resistant to hydrolytic degradation in the proximal tubule than native, unbound alpha 2u-g. Single cell necrosis of the tubule epithelium, with associated granular cast formation and papillary mineralization, is followed by sustained regenerative tubule cell proliferation, foci of tubule hyperplasia in the convoluted proximal tubules, and renal tubule tumors. Although structurally similar proteins have been detected in other species, including humans, renal lesions characteristic of alpha 2u-g nephropathy have not been observed. Epidemiologic investigation has not specifically examined the CIGA hypothesis for humans. Based on cancer bioassays, hormone manipulation studies, investigations in an alpha 2u-g-deficient strain of rat, and other laboratory data, an increased proliferative response caused by chemically induced cytotoxicity appears to play a role in the development of renal tubule tumors in male rats. Thus, it is reasonable to suggest that the renal effects induced in male rats by chemicals causing alpha 2u-g accumulation are unlikely to occur in humans.