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NCTR Research Highlights

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Current Highlight from September 23, 2016

Potential Serum microRNA (miRNA) Biomarkers of Kidney Damage Identified   

NCTR scientists demonstrated dose-dependent changes in the levels of serum miRNAs in male and female rats that were fed melamine and cyanuric acid (MEL&CYA) over a 28-day period. Using quantitative real-time PCR, two serum miRNAs ─ miR-128-3p and miR-210-3p ─ were shown to have decreased in male rats treated with 180 ppm MEL&CYA. This dose of 180 ppm produced kidney damage without altering the levels of blood urea nitrogen or serum creatinine, current biomarkers of kidney damage. These experiments suggest that select serum miRNAs reflect the nephrotoxicity induced by co-exposure to MEL&CYA and have potential as sensitive biomarkers of kidney damage. This study was conducted at NCTR through funding from the Interagency Agreement between FDA/NCTR and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Toxicology Program. A manuscript describing the study is now available online at Food and Chemical Toxicologydisclaimer icon.

For more information, please contact Luísa Camacho, Division of Biochemical Toxicology, FDA/NCTR. 


Identification of a Potential Plasma Biomarker of Liver Injury

Scientists from NCTR and the National Institute on Alcohol and Abuse and Alcoholism identified an increase in the protein expression levels of heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX1) in plasma from rats treated with acetaminophen (APAP). The proteomic study quantitatively analyzed liver tissues collected from rats at 6 hours and 24 hours after treatment with low (100 mg/kg) and high (1250 mg/kg) doses of APAP. The study identified 31 proteins correlated to liver damage. Of these, an increase in HMOX1 plasma levels was also associated with liver injury in APAP-treated rats and in mice, as part of a cross-species verification study. These data suggest the potential of HMOX1 as a plasma biomarker of liver injury; although further investigation with larger studies to address clinical specificity and sensitivity are required. A manuscript describing the study is now available online at Proteomics Clinical Applicationsdisclaimer icon.

For more information, please contact Li-Rong Yu, Division of Systems Biology, FDA/NCTR. 


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National Center for Toxicological Research

Food and Drug Administration

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Jefferson, AR 72079

Page Last Updated: 09/27/2016
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