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Unique pattern of gene expression can indicate acetaminophen overdose
Date:10/31/2007

differences in gene expression are linked to specific diseases, the researchers were able to determine which genes were turned on or turned off in response to the different levels of acetaminophen. Once they selected the gene sets, they tested them for accuracy, and found the signature gene lists were able to predict exposure to toxic versus nontoxic doses with very high accuracy (88.9-95.8 percent), while the more traditional predictors, of clinical chemistry, hematology and pathology were approximately 65 to 80 percent accurate.

Although it was not the main focus of our study, we wanted to see how applicable this gene expression profiling of blood cells was to humans, said Raymond W. Tennant, Ph.D., in the NIEHS Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology, and a co-author on the study.

The NIEHS researchers compared the animal data with data from RNA from blood drawn from individuals who had been admitted to the University of North Carolina emergency room for acetaminophen overdose intoxication. When they compared the toxic blood samples to the samples from normal healthy volunteers they saw a striking difference.

Although there are already some good tools available to emergency room physicians to detect liver injury, additional information concerning the level of exposures and/or the degree of liver injury could significantly help us in treating acetaminophen overdose patients, said Paul Watkins, M.D., Director, General Clinical Research Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and co-author on the paper.


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Contact: Robin Mackar
rmackar@niehs.nih.gov
919-541-0073
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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