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AIDS Therapeutics Publications

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AIDS Therapeutics Publications

Induction of Thymic Lymphoma in Mice Administered the Dideoxynucleoside ddC

Sanders VM, Elwell MR, Heath JE, Collins BJ, Dunnick JK, Rao GN, Prejean D, Lindamood C III, Irwin RD.
(Fundamental and Applied Toxicology; 27 (2). 1995. 263-269)

Groups of 10 male and 20 female B6C3F1 mice received 0, 500, or 1000 mg/kg/day 2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddC) by gavage for 13 weeks. At the end of the 13-week exposure period all males and 10 females per group were necropsied while the remaining females were held for 1 month without further treatment. Thymic atrophy was present at the 13-week necropsy in male and female mice administered 1000 mg/kg/day and in females administered 500 mg/kg/day, but was not present in females following 1 month of recovery. Thymic lymphoma was present in 1 female that received 500 mg/kg/day and 1 female that received 1000 mg/kg/day. In a follow-up study groups of 70 female mice received 0, 500, or 1000 mg/kg/day for 13 weeks. At the end of the 13-week exposure period 20 mice per group were necropsied and the remaining animals held for 3 months without further treatment. Thymic atrophy was observed in ddC-exposed groups at the 13-week necropsy but not in mice allowed to recovery for 13 weeks. Thymic lymphoma occurred in 3/50 mice that received 500 mg/kg/day and in 17/50 mice that received 1000 mg/kg/day but did not occur in mice from the vehicle control group.


Carcinogenicity of 2',3'-Dideoxycytidine in Mice

Rao GN, Collins BJ, Giles HD, Heath JE, Foley JF, May RD, Buckley LA
(Cancer Res; VOL 56, ISS 20, 1996, P4666-72)


2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddC) is a synthetic pyrimidine nucleoside analogue approved for treatment of HIV-positive patients. Previous studies indicated that ddC has the potential to cause thymic lymphoma in C57BL/6 x C3H F1 (hereafter called B6C3F1) mice. In this study, we evaluated the carcinogenic potential of ddC in two different mouse models. B6C3F1 hybrid mice carry ecotropic endogenous proviral sequences that may be activated to cause lymphoma, whereas NIH Swiss mice lack proviral sequences that can be expressed. The mice were treated with ddC by gavage at 500 and 1000 mg/kg/day for up to 6 months (human dose, 2.25 mg/day) and evaluated for toxicity, plasma levels of ddC, and pathological changes. Lymphocyte cell markers from the thymic lymphomas were assessed by immunophenotyping. Expression of p53 protein was evaluated using immunohistochemical staining. Treatment-related thymic lymphomas were present in both mouse models with a higher incidence in NIH Swiss than in B6C3F1 mice. The lymphomas were more prevalent in females than in males of both mouse models. Most mice with thymic lymphoma died during the course of the study. In addition to the thymus, lymphoma was often present in lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs. Lymphomas arose more frequently in mice that lack endogenous ecotropic retroviral sequences and thus were not due to activation of endogenous provirus. During the third month of the study, a few NIH Swiss mice that died had granulosa cell tumors of the ovary. Treatment-related but reversible thymicatrophy was observed in both mouse models. There was a very high correlation between the internal dose of ddC and the incidence of thymic lymphoma in both mouse models. Most of the lymphocytes from control thymuses and ddC-induced lymphomas were positive for Thy-1.2 (pan-T), heat stable antigen, and CD4 and CD8 markers, with no marked differences inthe lymphocyte markers of the tumors between sexes or dose groups. p53 protein was detected in only 20% (23/115) of the ddC-induced lymphomas with mostly minimal expression in scattered cells. Because ddC induced lymphomas in two different mouse models, the potential carcinogenic risk should be considered in long-term treatment of HIV-positive patients, especially children and adolescent patients treated with ddC.



Subchronic Toxicity of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and
Tuberculosis Combination Therapies in B6C3F1 Mice

Ghanta N. Rao, Charles Lindamoos III, James E. Heath, Daniel R. Farnell, and Herschell D. Giles
(Toxicological Sciences; 45, 113-127, Article No. TX982488, 1998)


Combination therapy with anti-HIV drugs and opportunistic infection drugs is a common practice in treatment of AIDS patients. Although toxic effects of most individual therapies are known, the toxic potential of most combination therapies has not been established. To understand the toxic consequences of combination therapies, the commonly used anti-HIV drug 3'-azido-3'deoxythymidine (AZT) and tuberculosis infection therapies pyrazinamide, isoniazid, and rifampicin were evaluated by 13-week gavage studies in B6C3F1 mice, either alone or AZT in combination with one of the antituberculosis drugs. The doses include AZT 100, 200, and 400; pyrazinamide 1000 and 1500; isoniazid 50,100, and 150; and rifampicin 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg/day. AZT alone caused hematopoietic toxicity with dose-related bone marrow suppression, macrocytic anemia, and thrombocytosis. Pyrazinamide or isoniazid alone at the doses tested did not cause significant toxicity. Rifampicin alone caused hematopoietic toxicity and possibly mild hepatic toxicity. Pyrazinamide below 10 times the therapeutic dose when given with AZT did not increase the hematological toxicity of AZT. Isoniazid markedly increased the hematological toxicity of AZT and contributed to mortality at 3 to 4 times the therapeutic dose combinations. Administration of rifampicin with AZT at the calculated therapeutic doses resulted in toxicity of far greater magnitude than that caused by AZT or rifampicin alone. Combination treatment with AZT and rifampicin caused severe anemia with mortality at 2 to 4 times the therapeutic dose combinations. However, AZT did not enhance the hepatotoxicity of rifampicin. Increased hematopoietic toxicity of AZT when given in combination with the above antituberculosis drugs may be due to changes in the metabolism of AZT. Results of these studies indicate that toxicological effects of combination therapies could be considerably more severe than and different from the toxicity of individual therapies.