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Preview: Toxicological Sciences - current issue

Toxicological Sciences Current Issue





Published: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 09:50:47 GMT

 









Editor’s Highlight: Pregnancy Alters Aflatoxin B 1 Metabolism and Increases DNA Damage in Mouse Liver

2017-08-24

Abstract
Pregnancy is a complex physiological state, in which the metabolism of endogenous as well as exogenous agents is ostensibly altered. One exogenous agent of concern is the hepatocarcinogen aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a foodborne fungal toxin, that requires phase I metabolic oxidation for conversion to its toxic and carcinogenic form, the AFB1-8,9-exo-epoxide. The epoxide interacts with cellular targets causing toxicity and cell death; these targets include the covalent modification of DNA leading to mutations that can initiate malignant transformation. The main detoxification pathway of the AFB1-epoxide involves phase II metabolic enzymes including the glutathione-S-transferase (GST) family. Pregnancy can modulate both phase I and II metabolism and alter the biological potency of AFB1. The present work investigated the impact of pregnancy on AFB1 exposure in mice. A single IP dose of 6 mg/kg AFB1 was administered to pregnant C57BL/6 J mice at gestation day 14 and matched non-pregnant controls. Pregnant mice accumulated 2-fold higher AFB1-N7-guanine DNA adducts in the liver when compared with nonpregnant controls 6 h post-exposure. Enhanced DNA adduct formation in pregnant animals paralleled elevated hepatic protein expression of mouse CYP1A2 and mouse homologs of human CYP3A4, phase I enzymes capable of bioactivating AFB1. Although phase II enzymes GSTA1/2 showed decreased protein expression, GSTA3, the primary enzymatic protection against the AFB1-epoxide, was unaffected at the protein level. Taken together, our results reveal that pregnancy may constitute a critical window of susceptibility for maternal health, and provide insight into the biochemical factors that could explain the underlying risks.



From the Cover: Genomic Effects of Androstenedione and Sex-Specific Liver Cancer Susceptibility in Mice

2017-08-23

Abstract
Current strategies for predicting carcinogenic mode of action for nongenotoxic chemicals are based on identification of early key events in toxicity pathways. The goal of this study was to evaluate short-term key event indicators resulting from exposure to androstenedione (A4), an androgen receptor agonist and known liver carcinogen in mice. Liver cancer is more prevalent in men compared with women, but androgen-related pathways underlying this sex difference have not been clearly identified. Short-term hepatic effects of A4 were compared with reference agonists of the estrogen receptor (ethinyl estradiol, EE) and glucocorticoid receptor (prednisone, PRED). Male B6C3F1 mice were exposed for 7 or 28 days to A4, EE, or PRED. EE increased and PRED suppressed hepatocyte proliferation, while A4 had no detectable effects. In a microarray analysis, EE and PRED altered >3000 and >670 genes, respectively, in a dose-dependent manner, whereas A4 did not significantly alter any genes. Gene expression was subsequently examined in archival liver samples from male and female B6C3F1 mice exposed to A4 for 90 days. A4 altered more genes in females than males and did not alter expression of genes linked to activation of the mitogenic xenobiotic receptors AhR, CAR, and PPARα in either sex. A gene expression biomarker was used to show that in female mice, the high dose of A4 activated the growth hormone-regulated transcription factor STAT5b, which controls sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. These findings suggest that A4 induces subtle age-related effects on STAT5b signaling that may contribute to the higher risk of liver cancer in males compared with females.



In Vitro Exposure of Human Luteinized Mural Granulosa Cells to Dibutyl Phthalate Affects Global Gene Expression

2017-08-23

Abstract
Exposure to dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is ubiquitous among women of reproductive age. Previous studies in animal models and in human cells in vitro have shown that exposure to DBP disrupts ovarian function. Here, we examined the effect of DBP on global gene expression in mural granulosa cells (MGCs) in vitro. Primary cultures of MGC obtained from 48 patients undergoing IVF were treated with increasing concentrations of DBP (0, 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 µg/ml) for 48 h. Microarray analysis was used to identify genes exhibiting expression changes following DBP exposure. When compared with untreated cells, exposure to 100 µg/ml DBP resulted in significant differences in expression of 346 annotated genes (> 2-fold; q value < .05). Of them, 151 were upregulated and 195 downregulated. The main functional annotations affected by DBP were associated with cell cycle, mitosis, Rho GTPases, PLK1, Aurora B signaling pathways, and E2F-mediated regulation of DNA replication. No significant differences in gene expression were observed for the lower concentrations of DBP (0.01, 0.1, 1, and 10 µg/ml) compared with controls for both the microarray analysis and genes validated by quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR. This study provides important molecular inputs on the effect of short-term DBP exposure on human MGCs in vitro. Our results indicate that acute treatment with high concentrations of DBP alters gene expression pathways mainly associated with the cell cycle.



Editor’s Highlight: High-Throughput Functional Genomics Identifies Modulators of TCE Metabolite Genotoxicity and Candidate Susceptibility Genes

2017-08-21

Abstract
Trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial chemical and environmental contaminant, is a human carcinogen. Reactive metabolites are implicated in renal carcinogenesis associated with TCE exposure, yet the toxicity mechanisms of these metabolites and their contribution to cancer and other adverse effects remain unclear. We employed an integrated functional genomics approach that combined functional profiling studies in yeast and avian DT40 cell models to provide new insights into the specific mechanisms contributing to toxicity associated with TCE metabolites. Genome-wide profiling studies in yeast identified the error-prone translesion synthesis (TLS) pathway as an import mechanism in response to TCE metabolites. The role of TLS DNA repair was further confirmed by functional profiling in DT40 avian cell lines, but also revealed that TLS and homologous recombination DNA repair likely play competing roles in cellular susceptibility to TCE metabolites in higher eukaryotes. These DNA repair pathways are highly conserved between yeast, DT40, and humans. We propose that in humans, mutagenic TLS is favored over homologous recombination repair in response to TCE metabolites. The results of these studies contribute to the body of evidence supporting a mutagenic mode of action for TCE-induced renal carcinogenesis mediated by reactive metabolites in humans. Our approach illustrates the potential for high-throughput in vitro functional profiling in yeast to elucidate toxicity pathways (molecular initiating events, key events) and candidate susceptibility genes for focused study.









From the Cover: Developmental Neurotoxicants Disrupt Activity in Cortical Networks on Microelectrode Arrays: Results of Screening 86 Compounds During Neural Network Formation

2017-08-16

Abstract
Less than 1% of environmental chemicals have been evaluated for developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). Current guideline DNT studies are resource intensive and not amenable to screening large numbers of compounds for hazard. As part of evaluating a battery of more rapid and scalable in vitro assays for DNT hazard, 86 compounds were screened for their ability to alter function during cortical network development. Developing rat cortical networks were treated with a concentration series (usually 0.03–30 µM) of 86 compounds, 60 of which have known in vivo DNT effects (“DNT Reference Set”). Spontaneous network activity was monitored by microelectrode array recordings over 12 days in vitro, and 17 measures of network activity and synchrony were quantified. Following recordings on days in vitro 12, in-well cell assessment of metabolic activity (Alamar blue) and total cellular content (lactase dehydrogenase) were conducted. Of the 86 compounds tested, 64 perturbed cortical network function in a concentration-dependent manner; 49 of the 60 DNT Reference Set compounds (81.7%) altered network formation. Compounds were ranked by potency (network effect EC50) and selectivity (separation of network and cell viability EC50) for hazard prioritization. Machine learning indicates a combination of an overall network activity metric with a measure of network coordination is key in distinguishing network-disruptive from benign treatments. These data demonstrate that this microelectrode array–based assay for developing cortical network function is amenable to medium-throughput evaluation of environmental substances for DNT hazard and further prioritization. For comprehensive identification of compounds of concern, this assay will be a useful component of a battery of assays targeting independent neurodevelopmental processes.



From the Cover: Proteome Profile of Different Rat Brain Regions After Sarin Intoxication

2017-08-16

Abstract
Sarin is an organophosphorus (OP) chemical warfare agent which irreversibly inhibits acetylcholinesterase. Acute toxicity after sarin exposure is because of hyper activation of the nicotinic and muscarinic receptor. Survivors of sarin exposure often develop long-term neuropathology referred as OP ester-induced chronic neurotoxicity. However, the exact mechanism of chronic neurotoxicity is yet unknown. We studied proteomic changes in rat brain regions after 0.5 LD50 dose of sarin and investigated some milestone changes associated with long-term CNS injury. We used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis/mass spectrometry approach to identify early proteomic changes and traced expression of selected proteins for longer time points. This study shows changes in chaperone function, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and defect in cytoskeleton functions at earlier stages. Predictive interaction analysis demonstrated putative role of Parkinson’s disease-related proteins after sarin exposure. Our results clearly indicated neurodegenerative changes which started after 2.5 h and showed prominence after 3-month postexposure. The study also unmasks changes in proteins related to movement and cognitive function. The markers for astrocytosis (GFAP) and neurodegenerative changes (alpha-synuclein and amyloid precursor protein) exhibited altered expression in brain. This is the first proteomic study among survivors of sarin exposure in animal model. Some of the early changes, including those involved in neurodegeneration, movement, and cognitive function, defects in chaperone function and cytoskeleton, were shown to persist for a longer period. The study provides a preliminary framework for further validation of major mechanisms of sarin toxicity is suggested here and opens new avenues for elucidation of therapeutic intervention.



Dexrazoxane Averts Idarubicin-Evoked Genomic Damage by Regulating Gene Expression Profiling Associated With the DNA Damage-Signaling Pathway in BALB/c Mice

2017-08-16

Abstract
Idarubicin is an anthracycline antileukemic agent widely used in the treatment of hematological malignancies. However, cardiotoxicity and secondary leukemia have been reported after idarubicin treatment. Dexrazoxane is the only medication approved by FDA to prevent anthracycline-evoked cardiotoxicity. However, lack of information on the genomic damage caused by the combination of these 2 drugs prompted us to conduct the current study. We treated mice with different doses of idarubicin and/or dexrazoxane. Genomic DNA damage, apoptosis, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were evaluated in the bone marrow cells. Our results demonstrate that mice pretreated of with dexrazoxane had significant lower genomic damage, apoptosis and ROS generation compared with that of mice treated with idarubicin alone, an effect that was dependent on dexrazoxane dose. The expression of 84 genes implicated in DNA damage-signaling pathways was quantified using an RT2 Profiler PCR Array. Idarubicin treatments altered the expression of 58 genes, and 16 of those were expressed at significantly different level. In treatments combining idarubicin and dexrazoxane, substantial restorations of mRNA expression of these genes were observed. RT-qPCR was performed for selected genes and the alteration of these genes was confirmed. Alterations in mRNA expression of a subset of genes were further proved by Western blotting analysis of protein levels, which nearly showed similar alterations. Conclusively, dexrazoxane can be safely co-administered with idarubicin. Moreover, dexrazoxane minimizes idarubicin-evoked genomic damage via its radical scavenging and DNA repair-enhancing activities. Thus, dexrazoxane may help avert secondary malignancies in cancer patients in remission who are exposed to idarubicin.



Editor’s Highlight: Comparative Dose-Response Analysis of Liver and Kidney Transcriptomic Effects of Trichloroethylene and Tetrachloroethylene in B6C3F1 Mouse

2017-08-16

Abstract
Trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants and occupational health hazards. Recent health assessments of these agents identified several critical data gaps, including lack of comparative analysis of their effects. This study examined liver and kidney effects of TCE and PCE in a dose-response study design. Equimolar doses of TCE (24, 80, 240, and 800 mg/kg) or PCE (30, 100, 300, and 1000 mg/kg) were administered by gavage in aqueous vehicle to male B6C3F1/J mice. Tissues were collected 24 h after exposure. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA), a major oxidative metabolite of both compounds, was measured and RNA sequencing was performed. PCE had a stronger effect on liver and kidney transcriptomes, as well as greater concentrations of TCA. Most dose-responsive pathways were common among chemicals/tissues, with the strongest effect on peroxisomal β-oxidation. Effects on liver and kidney mitochondria-related pathways were notably unique to PCE. We performed dose-response modeling of the transcriptomic data and compared the resulting points of departure (PODs) to those for apical endpoints derived from long-term studies with these chemicals in rats, mice, and humans, converting to human equivalent doses using tissue-specific dosimetry models. Tissue-specific acute transcriptional effects of TCE and PCE occurred at human equivalent doses comparable to those for apical effects. These data are relevant for human health assessments of TCE and PCE as they provide data for dose-response analysis of the toxicity mechanisms. Additionally, they provide further evidence that transcriptomic data can be useful surrogates for in vivo PODs, especially when toxicokinetic differences are taken into account.



Exposure of Pregnant Mice to Triclosan Causes Insulin Resistance via Thyroxine Reduction

2017-08-14

Abstract
Exposure to triclosan (TCS), an antibacterial agent, during pregnancy is associated with hypothyroxinemia and decreases in placental glucose transporter expression and activity. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of TCS on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in gestational mice (G-mice) and nongestational female mice (Ng-mice) as a control. Herein, we show that the exposure of G-mice to TCS (8 mg/kg) from gestational day (GD) 5 to GD17 significantly increased their levels of fasting plasma glucose and serum insulin, and insulin content in pancreatic β-cells with reduced homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-β index and increased HOMA-IR index. Area under curve (AUC) of glucose and insulin tolerance tests in TCS (8 mg/kg)-treated G-mice were markedly larger than controls. When compared with controls, TCS (8 mg/kg)-treated G-mice showed a significant decrease in the levels of thyroxine and triiodothyroninelevels, PPARγ and glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) expression, and Akt phosphorylation in adipose tissue and muscle. Replacement of L-thyroxine in TCS (8 mg/kg)-treated G-mice corrected their insulin resistance and recovered the levels of insulin, PPARγ and GLUT4 expression, and Akt phosphorylation. Activation of PPARγ by administration of rosiglitazone recovered the decrease in Akt phosphorylation, but not GLUT4 expression. Although exposure to TCS (8 mg/kg) in Ng-mice reduced thyroid hormones levels, it did not cause the insulin resistance or affect PPARγ and GLUT4 expression, and Akt phosphorylation. The findings indicate that the exposure of gestational mice to TCS (≥8 mg/kg) results in insulin resistance via thyroid hormones reduction.



Neurodevelopment and Thyroid Hormone Synthesis Inhibition in the Rat: Quantitative Understanding Within the Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework

2017-08-14

Abstract
Adequate levels of thyroid hormone (TH) are needed for proper brain development, deficiencies may lead to adverse neurologic outcomes in humans and animal models. Environmental chemicals have been linked to TH disruption, yet the relationship between developmental exposures and decline in serum TH resulting in neurodevelopmental impairment is poorly understood. The present study developed a quantitative adverse outcome pathway where serum thyroxin (T4) reduction following inhibition of thyroperoxidase in the thyroid gland are described and related to deficits in fetal brain TH and the development of a brain malformation, cortical heterotopia. Pregnant rats were exposed to 6-propylthiouracil (PTU 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 parts per million [ppm]) from gestational days 6–20, sequentially increasing PTU concentrations in maternal thyroid gland and serum as well as in fetal serum. Dams exposed to 0.5 ppm PTU and higher exhibited dose-dependent decreases in thyroidal T4. Serum T4 levels in the dam were significantly decreased with exposure to 2 and 3 ppm PTU. In the fetus, T4 decrements were first observed at a lower dose of 0.5 ppm PTU. Based on these data, fetal brain T4 levels were estimated from published literature sources, and quantitatively linked to increases in the size of the heterotopia present in the brains of offspring. These data show the potential of in vivo assessments and computational descriptions of biologic responses to predict the development of this structural brain malformation and use of quantitative adverse outcome pathway approach to evaluate brain deficits that may result from exposure to other TH disruptors.



Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ablation in Cardiomyocytes Protects Male Mice From Heart Dysfunction Induced by NKX2.5 Haploinsufficiency

2017-08-14

Abstract
Epidemiological studies in humans and research in vertebrates indicates that developmental exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a ubiquitous and biopersistent environmental toxicant, is associated with incidence of early congenital heart disease in the embryo and later in the adult. TCDD-mediated toxicity depends on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) but the role of the TCDD-activated AHR in cardiac function is not well-defined. To characterize the mechanisms responsible for AHR-mediated disruption of heart function, we generated several mouse strains with cardiomyocyte-specific Ahr gene knockout. Here, we report results on one of these strains in which the Ahr gene was deleted by cre recombinase regulated by the promoter of the cardiomyocyte-specific Nkx2.5 gene. We crossed mice with loxP-targeted Ahrfx/fx alleles with Nkx2.5+/cre mice bearing a “knock-in” cre recombinase gene integrated into one of the Nkx2.5 alleles. In these mice, loss of one Nkx2.5 allele is associated with disrupted cardiac development. In males, Nkx2.5 hemizygosity resulted in cardiac haploinsufficiency characterized by hypertrophy, dilated cardiomyopathy, and impaired ejection fraction. Ahr ablation protected Nkx2.5+/cre haploinsufficient males from cardiac dysfunction while inducing a significant increase in body weight. These effects were absent or largely blunted in females. Starting at 3 months of age, mice were exposed by oral gavage to 1 μg/kg/week of TCDD or control vehicle for an additional 2 months. TCDD exposure restored cardiac physiology in aging males, appearing to compensate for the heart dysfunction caused by Nkx2.5 hemizygosity. Our findings underscore the conclusion that deletion of the Ahr gene in cardiomyocytes protects males from heart dysfunction due to NKX2.5 haploinsufficiency.



Editor’s Highlight: Ah Receptor Activation Potentiates Neutrophil Chemoattractant (C-X-C Motif) Ligand 5 Expression in Keratinocytes and Skin

2017-08-14

Abstract
Chemokines are components of the skin microenvironment, which enable immune cell chemotaxis. Traditionally, transcription factors involved in inflammatory signaling (eg, NFκB) are important mediators of chemokine expression. To what extent xenobiotics and their associated receptors control chemokine expression is poorly understood. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor known to mediate physiological responses in the skin through the regulation of genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism, epidermal differentiation, and immunity. Here, we demonstrate that AHR activation within primary mouse keratinocytes regulates the expression of a neutrophil directing chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 5 (Cxcl5). AHR-mediated regulation of Cxcl5 is because of direct transcriptional activity upon treatment with AHR agonists such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Additionally, AHR mediates enhanced induction of Cxcl5 upon exposure to an agonist and the inflammatory cytokine interleukin 1 beta. This synergy is confined primarily to keratinocytes, as dermal fibroblasts did not achieve the same level of combinatorial induction. AHR-specific antagonists were able to reduce basal and induced levels of Cxcl5, demonstrating the potential for pharmacological intervention. Exposure of C57BL/6 J mice to ultraviolet (UV) light followed by topical treatment with the AHR agonist formylindolo(3,2-b)carbazole (FICZ) significantly induced Cxcl5 expression in skin compared with UV alone, and this response was absent in Ahr−/− mice. These results establish AHR as an important mediator of Cxcl5, with implications for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.



Derivation of Occupational Thresholds of Toxicological Concern for Systemically Acting Noncarcinogenic Organic Chemicals

2017-08-02

Abstract
Many substances in workplace do not have occupational exposure limits. The threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) principle is part of the hierarchy of approaches useful in occupational health risk assessment. The aim of this study was to derive occupational TTCs (OTTCs) reflecting the airborne concentrations below which no significant risk to workers would be anticipated. A reference dataset consisting of the 8-h threshold limit values—Time-Weighted Average for 280 organic substances was compiled. Each substance was classified into low (class I), intermediate (class II), or high (class III) hazard categories as per Cramer rules. For each chemical, n-octanol:water partition coefficient and vapor pressure along with the molecular weight were used to predict the blood:air partition coefficient. The blood:air partition coefficient along with data on water solubility and ventilation rate allowed the prediction of pulmonary retention factor and absorbed dose in workers. For each Cramer class, the distribution of the predicted doses was analyzed to identify the various percentile values corresponding to the OTTC. Accordingly, for Cramer classes I–III, the OTTCs derived in this study correspond to 0.15, 0.0085, and 0.006 mmol/d, respectively, at the 10th percentile level, while these values were 1.5, 0.09 and 0.03 mmol/d at the 25th percentile level. The proposed OTTCs are not meant to replace the traditional occupational exposure limits, but can be used in data-poor situations along with exposure estimates to support screening level risk assessment and prioritization.



Chalcogenozidovudine Derivatives With Antitumor Activity: Comparative Toxicities in Cultured Human Mononuclear Cells

2017-07-28

Abstract
Considering a novel series of zidovudine (AZT) derivatives encompassing selenoaryl moieties promising candidates as therapeutics, we examined the toxicities elicited by AZT and derivatives 5′-(4-Chlorophenylseleno)zidovudine (SZ1); 5′-(Phenylseleno)zidovudine (SZ2); and 5′-(4-Methylphenylseleno)zidovudine (SZ3) in healthy cells and in mice. Resting and stimulated cultured human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were treated with the compounds at concentrations ranging from 10 to 200 µM for 24 and/or 72 h. Adult mice received a single injection of compounds (100 µmol/kg, s.c.) and 72 h after administration, hepatic/renal biomarkers were analyzed. Resting and stimulated PBMCs exposed to SZ1 displayed loss of viability, increased reactive species production, disruption in cell cycle, apoptosis and increased transcript levels and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In a mild way, most of these effects were also induced by SZ2. AZT and SZ3 did not cause significant toxicity towards resting PBMCs. Differently, both compounds elicited apoptosis and S phase arrest in stimulated cells. AZT and derivatives administration did not change the body weight and plasma biochemical markers in mice. However, the absolute weight and organ-to-body weight ratio of liver, kidneys and spleen were altered in AZT, SZ1-, and SZ2-treated mice. Our results highlighted the involvement of derivatives SZ1 and SZ2 in redox and immunological dyshomeostasis leading to activation of apoptotic signaling pathways in healthy cells under different division phases. On the other hand, the derivative SZ3 emerged as a promising candidate for further viral infection/antitumor studies as a new effective therapy with low toxicity for immune cells and after acute in vivo treatment.



From the Cover: Lung-Specific Overexpression of Constitutively Active IKK2 Induces Pulmonary and Systemic Inflammations but Not Hypothalamic Inflammation and Glucose Intolerance

2017-07-28

Abstract
The lung is constantly exposed to ambient pollutants such as ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5), making it one of the most frequent locations of inflammation in the body. Given the establishment of crucial role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases, pulmonary inflammation is thus widely believed to be an important risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases. However, the causality between them has not yet been well established. To determine if pulmonary inflammation is sufficient to cause adverse cardiometabolic effects, SFTPC-rtTA+/–tetO-cre+/–pROSA-inhibitor κB kinase 2(IKK2)ca+/– (LungIKK2ca) and littermate SFTPC-rtTA+/–tetO-cre–/–pROSA-IKK2ca+/– wildtype (WT) mice were fed with doxycycline diet to induce constitutively active Ikk2 (Ikk2ca) overexpression in the lung and their pulmonary, systemic, adipose, and hypothalamic inflammations, vascular function, and glucose homeostasis were assessed. Feeding with doxycycline diet resulted in IKK2ca overexpression in the lungs of LungIKK2ca but not WT mice. This induction of IKK2ca was accompanied by marked pulmonary inflammation as evidenced by significant increases in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid leukocytes, pulmonary macrophage infiltration, and pulmonary mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor α (Tnfα) and interleukin-6 (Il-6). This pulmonary inflammation due to lung-specific overexpression of IKK2ca was sufficient to increase circulating TNFα and IL-6 levels, adipose expression of Tnfα and Il-6 mRNA, aortic endothelial dysfunction, and systemic insulin resistance. Unexpectedly, no significant alteration in hypothalamic expression of Tnfα and Il-6 mRNA and glucose intolerance were observed in these mice. Pulmonary inflammation is sufficient to induce systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and insulin resistance, but not hypothalamic inflammation and glucose intolerance.