Toxicologic Pathology. 2014 June 23. [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Bhusari S, Blackshear PE, Clayton NP, Gerrish KE, Hoenerhoff, MJ, Hong HH, Nagai H, Pandiri AR, Peddada SD, Shockley KR, Sills RC, Ton TV, Wyde M.


A majority (∼80%) of human malignant mesotheliomas are asbestos-related. However, non-asbestos risk factors (radiation, chemicals, and genetic factors) account for up to 30% of cases. A recent 2-year National Toxicology Program carcinogenicity bioassay showed that male F344/N rats exposed to the industrial toxicant vinylidene chloride (VDC) resulted in a marked increase in malignant mesothelioma. Global gene expression profiles of these tumors were compared to spontaneous mesotheliomas and the F344/N rat mesothelial cell line (Fred-PE) in order to characterize the molecular features and chemical-specific profiles of mesothelioma in VDC-exposed rats. As expected, mesotheliomas from control and VDC-exposed rats shared pathways associated with tumorigenesis, including cellular and tissue development, organismal injury, embryonic development, inflammatory response, cell cycle regulation, and cellular growth and proliferation, while mesotheliomas from VDC-exposed rats alone showed overrepresentation of pathways associated with pro-inflammatory pathways and immune dysfunction such as the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells signaling pathway, interleukin (IL)-8 and IL-12 signaling, interleukin responses, Fc receptor signaling, and natural killer and dendritic cells signaling, as well as overrepresentation of DNA damage and repair. These data suggest that a chronic, pro-inflammatory environment associated with VDC exposure may exacerbate disturbances in oncogene, growth factor, and cell cycle regulation, resulting in an increased incidence of mesothelioma.