Effects of Dietary Feeding of Aflatoxin B1on Ribosomal RNA Metabolism in Rat Liver

Steven J. Smith, Keith C. Deen, William J. Calhoun, Howard F. Beittenmiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After 1 week of dietary feeding of Aflatoxin B1(AFB,) (1 or 10 ppm) to male Fischer rats, sucrose gradient analysis revealed decreases in the incorporation of [3H]orotic acid in vivo into 45 S hepatic nRNA and decreased concentration (A260 of 28 S nRNA when compared with controls fed an identical diet minus AFB1. Sucrose gradient analysis of hepatic microsomal rRNA showed decreases of a similar magnitude in labeling in vivo and in A260of 28 S rRNA. Labeling and A260of the 18 S rRNA were unchanged. Assay of RNA polymerase I activity in isolated hepatic nuclei demonstrated that this enzyme activity was not diminished in rats fed the AFB, diet from that of the controls. Feeding of AFB1for 1 to 6 weeks resulted in progressive decreases in A260of 28 S nRNA and in both label and A260in microsomal 28 S rRNA. These effects are time and dose related, since 1 week of a diet containing 10 ppm produced changes in nuclear and ribosomal 28 S RNA similar to those observed after 4 to 6 weeks of a diet containing 1 ppm. Sixteen hr after a single injection of AFB, (1 mg/kg i.p.), the same defects in RNA metabolism occurred as described above for 1 ppm for 4 to 6 weeks and 10 ppm for 1 week. In contrast to the chronic feeding studies, after an acute injection these effects eventually disappear. These data suggest that early progressive lesions in the maturation of hepatic 28 S rRNA are produced during chronic feeding of a diet containing AFB,. Such defects in processing of ribosomal precursor RNA may be a characteristic feature of chemical hepatocarcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2226-2231
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
StatePublished - Jul 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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