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Toxicology. 2003 Dec 15;194(1-2):77-93.

Effects of currently used pesticides in the AhR-CALUX assay: comparison between the human TV101L and the rat H4IIE cell line.

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  • 1Unit of Environmental Biotechnology, Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, University of Aarhus, Building 260, Vennelyst Boulevard 6, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that mediates many of the biologic and toxicological effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds. The in vitro chemically activated luciferase expression (CALUX) assay has been proven to be a rapid and sensitive assay for assessing the potency of AhR-activating compounds. We have used the AhR-CALUX assay to investigate the AhR-mediated activity of the persistent organochlorine insecticide dieldrin and twenty-two pesticides currently used in Denmark by employing the rat H4IIE and the human TV101L hepatoma cell lines. In comparison the results indicated that the rat H4IIE cell line is more sensitive than the human TV101L for detection of TCDD inducing AhR-CALUX activity. The pesticides iprodione, chlorpyrifos and prochloraz showed dose-dependent AhR agonistic effects in both cell lines at concentrations above 10, 1 and 1 microM, respectively. However, some pesticides (methiocarb, chlorothalonil, tribenuron-methyl, paclobutrazol and tolchlofos-methyl) elicited differential responses in the two cell lines.

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