Early detection of genotoxic hepatocarcinogens in rats using γh2AX and Ki-67: Prediction by machine learning

Ayano Michiba, Min Gi, Masanao Yokohira, Eiko Sakurai, Atsushi Teramoto, Yuka Kiriyama, Seiji Yamada, Hideki Wanibuchi, Tetsuya Tsukamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Direct DNA double-strand breaks result in phosphorylation of H2AX, a variant of the histone H2 protein. Phosphorylated H2AX (γH2AX) may be a potential indicator in the evaluation of genotoxicity and hepatocarcinogenicity. In this study, γH2AX and Ki-67 were detected in the short-Term responses (24 h after chemical administration) to classify genotoxic hepatocarcinogens (GHs) from non-GH chemicals. One hundred and thirty-five 6-week-old Crl: CD(SD) (SPF) male rats were treated with 22 chemicals including 11 GH and 11 non-GH, sacrificed 24 h later, and immunostained with γH2AX and Ki-67. Positivity rates of these markers were measured in the 3 liver ZONEs 1-3; portal, lobular, and central venous regions. These values were input into 3 machine learning models-Naïve Bayes, Random Forest, and k-Nearest Neighbor to classify GH and non-GH using a 10-fold cross-validation method. All 11 and 10 out of 11 GH caused significant increase in γH2AX and Ki-67 levels, respectively (P <. 05). Of the 3 machine learning models, Random Forest performed the best. GH were identified with 95.0% sensitivity (76/80 GH-Treated rats), 90.9% specificity (50/55 non-GH-Treated rats), and 90.0% overall correct response rate using γH2AX staining, and 96.2% sensitivity (77/80), 81.8% specificity (45/55), and 90.4% overall correct response rate using Ki-67 labeling. Random Forest model using γH2AX and Ki-67 could independently predict GH in the early stage with high accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology


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