Borghoff SJ, Poet TS, Green S, Davis J, Hughes B, Mensing T, Sarang SS, Lynch AM, Hard GC. 2015. Methyl isobutyl ketone exposure-related increases in specific measures of α2u-globulin (α2u) nephropathy in male rats along with in vitro evidence of reversible protein binding. Toxicology 333(2015):1-13.
Chronic exposure to methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) resulted in an increase in the incidence of renal tubule adenomas and occurrence of renal tubule carcinomas in male, but not female Fischer 344 rats. Since a number of chemicals have been shown to cause male rat renal tumors through the α2u nephropathy-mediated mode of action, the objective of this study is to evaluate the ability of MIBK to induce measures of α2u nephropathy including renal cell proliferation in male and female F344 rats following exposure to the same inhalation concentrations used in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) cancer bioassay (0, 450, 900, or 1800 ppm). Rats were exposed 6 h/day for 1 or 4 weeks and kidneys excised approximately 18 h post exposure to evaluate hyaline droplet accumulation (HDA), α2u staining of hyaline droplets, renal cell proliferation, and to quantitate renal α2u concentration. There was an exposure-related increase in all measures of α2u nephropathy in male, but not female rat kidneys. The hyaline droplets present in male rat kidney stained positively for α2u. The changes in HDA and α2u concentration were comparable to d-limonene, an acknowledged inducer of α2u nephropathy. In a separate in vitro study using a two-compartment vial equilibration model to assess the interaction between MIBK and α2u, the dissociation constant (Kd) was estimated to be 1.27 × 10−5 M. This Kd is within the range of other chemicals known to bind to α2u and cause nephropathy. Together, the exposure-related increase in measures of α2u nephropathy, sustained increase in renal cell proliferation along with an indication of reversible binding of MIBK to α2u, support the inclusion of MIBK in the category of chemicals exerting renal effects through a protein droplet α2u nephropathy-mediated mode of action (MoA).