Oxidative modification of lipids and proteins in aniline-induced splenic toxicity

M. Firoze Khan, X. Wu, Paul J. Boor, G. A.S. Ansari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Our earlier studies with aniline suggested the involvement of oxidative stress as an early toxic event in the spleen. In order to understand the status and consequences of the damaging oxidative reactions, especially during the progression of characteristic splenic lesions, time-dependent subchronic studies were conducted in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with 65 mg/kg/day aniline in the drinking water, while control rats received drinking water only. The animals were euthanized after 1, 2, or 3 months of aniline exposure. Total iron content was remarkably greater in the aniline-treated rats than in age-matched controls. There were time-dependent increases in splenic lipid peroxidation of aniline-treated rats. Malondialdehyde-protein adducts were quantitated by a competitive ELISA and showed greater concentrations in the spleens of aniline-treated rats, further substantiating our lipid peroxidation results. Protein oxidation in the spleens of aniline-treated rats was also greater, with a maximum increase of ~76% at 3 months. Western blot analysis for oxidized proteins showed two distinct protein bands at ~114 kD and ~69 kD in both post-nuclear and mitochondrial fractions of the spleens. Furthermore, densitometric analysis of the blot showed increased band intensities of the oxidized proteins in both these spleen fractions from aniline-treated rats, suggesting the susceptibility of these proteins to aniline-induced oxidative stress. The most prominent morphological changes in the spleens of aniline-treated rats included thickening of the capsule, and capsular cells with nuclear prominence and hyperchromia indicative of capsular hyperplasia. These capsular changes and fibrosis of capsule, splenic trabeculae, and red pulp were noted at all three time points after aniline exposure. Our studies thus suggest that aniline-induced oxidative stress in the spleen is an ongoing event that leads to oxidative modifications of biomolecules. Such oxidative modifications, directly or indirectly, could contribute to the splenic toxicity leading to deleterious consequences, including capsular hyperplasia and fibrosis, as observed in this study, and possibly tumorigenesis in chronic aniline exposure conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Aniline
  • Iron
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • MDA-protein adducts
  • Oxidative stress
  • Protein oxidation
  • Spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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