The expression levels or activities of biological defense factors can fluctuate daily following biological rhythms. We have focused on the relationship between injection timing and the degree of toxicity of cadmium (Cd) to promote the concept of “chronotoxicology,” which introduces chronobiology to the field of toxicology. Our previous studies have clearly indicated that Cd may be subject to chronotoxicity. In this report, to confirm the character of the Cd-induced chronotoxicity, we performed multidirectional examinations. Male C57BL/6J mice that received a single intraperitoneal injection of CdCl2 at ZT6 showed drastic hepatic injury estimated by histopathological analyses, i.e., nuclear condensations, fatty degenerations, and hemorrhages, but showed no injury when injected at ZT18. This difference was supported by several biochemical analyses that were indicators of hepatic injury (levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and malondialdehyde). The chronotoxicity of Cd was also observed in multiple strains (ICR and Balb/c), in a different injection route (subcutaneous), and in multiple injections (5 injections). Based on these results, we propose that chronotoxicology may provide important information not only for toxicology but also for occupational health, i.e., the importance of injection timing for toxicity evaluation tests, the reproducibility of animal experiments, and the improvement in the quality of risk assessments for night shift workers who may be exposed to toxic substances at various times of the day.
- Reproducibility of animal experiments
- Risk assessment
- Shift work
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