JOURNAL ARTICLE

Female Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to a single oral dose of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exhibit sustained depletion of aryl hydrocarbon receptor protein in liver, spleen, thymus, and lung

R S Pollenz, M J Santostefano, E Klett, V M Richardson, B Necela, L S Birnbaum
Toxicological Sciences: An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology 1998, 42 (2): 117-28
9579024
There is currently little information concerning the time-dependent relationship between 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) exposure and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) protein concentration in vivo. Therefore, female Sprague-Dawley rats were given a single oral dose of TCDD (10 micrograms/kg), and the AHR and ARNT protein concentrations in liver, spleen, thymus, and lung determined by Western blotting. In liver, the concentration of AHR protein was significantly reduced 8 and 24 h postdosing as compared to time-matched controls. In spleen and lung, the concentration of AHR protein was reduced 3, 8, 24, and 168 h posttreatment compared to time-matched controls but returned to control levels by 336 h. In thymus, reductions in AHR protein concentration were observed 8, 24, 168, and 336 h postdosing as compared to time-matched controls. Significant reductions in the concentration of ARNT protein were not observed in any of the TCDD-exposed tissues. Functional studies in cell culture showed that exposure of a mouse hepatoma cell line (Hepa-1c1c7) and a rat smooth muscle cell line (A-7) to TCDD (1 nM) for 12 days resulted in a 50% reduction in TCDD-inducible reporter gene expression following subsequent challenge by an additional dose of TCDD (1 nM). Collectively, these results show that (i) TCDD-mediated depletion of AHR occurs in vivo, (ii) AHR protein does not rapidly recover to pretreatment levels even though the tissue concentration of TCDD has fallen, and (iii) reduction in AHR protein concentration correlates with reduction in TCDD-mediated reporter gene expression in mammalian culture cells.

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