Induction of NEIL1 and NEIL2 DNA glycosylases in aniline-induced splenic toxicity

Huaxian Ma, Jianling Wang, Sherif Z. Abdel-Rahman, Tapas K. Hazra, Paul J. Boor, M. Firoze Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The mechanisms by which aniline exposure elicits splenotoxic response, especially the tumorigenic response, are not well-understood. Earlier, we have shown that aniline-induced oxidative stress is associated with increased oxidative DNA damage in rat spleen. The base excision repair (BER) pathway is the major mechanism for the repair of oxidative DNA base lesions, and we have shown an up-regulation of 8-oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (OGG1), a specific DNA glycosylase involved in the removal of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) adducts, following aniline exposure. Nei-like DNA glycosylases (NEIL1/2) belong to a family of BER proteins that are distinct from other DNA glycosylases, including OGG1. However, contribution of NEIL1/2 in the repair of aniline-induced oxidative DNA damage in the spleen is not known. This study was, therefore, focused on evaluating if NEILs also contribute to the repair of oxidative DNA lesions in the spleen following aniline exposure. To achieve that, male SD rats were subchronically exposed to aniline (0.5. mmol/kg/day via drinking water for 30. days), while controls received drinking water only. The BER activity of NEIL1/2 was assayed using a bubble structure substrate containing 5-OHU (preferred substrates for NEIL1 and NEIL2) and by quantitating the cleavage products. Aniline treatment led to a 1.25-fold increase in the NEIL1/2-associated BER activity in the nuclear extracts of spleen compared to the controls. Real-time PCR analysis for NEIL1 and NEIL2 mRNA expression in the spleen revealed 2.7- and 3.9-fold increases, respectively, in aniline-treated rats compared to controls. Likewise, Western blot analysis showed that protein expression of NEIL1 and NEIL2 in the nuclear extract of spleens from aniline-treated rats was 2.0- and 3.8-fold higher than controls, respectively. Aniline treatment also led to stronger immunoreactivity for NEIL1 and NEIL2 in the spleens, confined to the red pulp areas. These studies, thus, show that aniline-induced oxidative stress is associated with an induction of NEIL1/2. The increased NIEL-mediated BER activity is another indication of aniline-induced oxidative damage in the spleen and could constitute another important mechanism of removal of oxidative DNA lesions, especially in transcribed DNA following aniline insult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 15 2011


  • Aniline
  • Base excision repair
  • DNA repair
  • NEIL1/2
  • Oxidative DNA damage
  • Spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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