The PPARγ agonist troglitazone (TG) induced an increased incidence of hemangiosarcomas in mice but was not carcinogenic in rats. In contrast, pioglitazone (PIO) did not induce hemangiosarcomas or any other tumors in mice. We previously demonstrated that TG increased the proliferation of endothelial cells (ECs) in liver and adipose tissue in mice, and acted as a mitogenic stimulant and an inhibitor of apoptosis in vitro in mouse, but not human, ECs. In the present study, we investigated whether TG had any effect on the proliferation of ECs in rats. We also evaluated the in vivo and in vitro effects of PIO on ECs in mice. In rats, TG did not increase the Ki-67 labeling index (LI) of ECs in liver or adipose tissue at doses used in the two-year bioassay, and did not increase hepatocyte proliferation. PIO administered to mice did not increase the Ki-67 LI of hepatocytes or ECs in liver or white adipose tissue, but slightly increased the EC proliferation in brown adipose tissue. PIO was slightly mitogenic on cultured mouse ECs after 3 days of treatment but not after 6 days, and there was no inhibition of apoptosis, in contrast to what was seen with TG. The data support the conclusion that sustained EC proliferation in mice is necessary, for the induction of hemangiosarcomas by TG, and these short-term and long-term effects are not seen with TG in the rat or with PIO in mice, treatments that also are not related to the induction of hemangiosarcomas in two-year bioassays.
- Endothelial cell proliferation
- PPARγ agonist
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