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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 1998 Oct 9;55(3):197-212.

Tributyltin modulates 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB-126)-induced hepatic CYP1A activity in channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus.

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  • 1Center for Environmental Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, USA.


Many harbor estuaries and their tributaries are contaminated with halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (HAHs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Planar congeners of these two classes initiate their toxic effects, including reproductive, developmental, and immunological dysfunction, primarily through the cytosolic arylhydrocabon receptor (Ahr). However, only rarely are aquatic environments contaminated with Ahr-binding contaminants alone. Instead, most are impacted by a variety of pollutants in mixture. Tributyltin (TBT), a common antifouling biocide, is also found in many harbor estuaries and their tributaries. Several reports indicate that TBT inhibits the cytochrome P-4501A system of fish, at least in vitro, and our recent studies with rodents indicate that TBT potentiates PCB-induced CYP1A. However, the effects of TBT on xenobiotic-induced CYP1A activity in aquatic organisms has been virtually unexplored. To this end, channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, were exposed to 3,3'4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB-126, PeCB), TBT, or both in combination, with corn oil (CO) serving as the carrier control. Immunoreactive CYP1A protein and ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity were measured after (1) a single dose of 0.01, 0. 1, or 1 mg/kg of each or both in combination, and (2) 6 injections of 0.017, 1.7, or 17 microg/kg of each (or in combination) given every 3 d over a 16-d period to yield a cumulative dose of 0.01, 0.1, or 1 mg/kg. As expected, PeCB alone, but not TBT, greatly induced these two CYP1A parameters. Low and middle doses of TBT (0.01 and 0.1 mg/kg), but not the high dose, potentiated PeCB-induced activity at these same doses. This effect of TBT was even more pronounced in the repeated exposure study. Furthermore, EROD activity did not always reflect CYP1A protein induction; enzyme activity was inhibited by TBT at doses that potentiated protein induction (0.01 and 0.1 mg/kg). In summary, TBT potentiates PeCB-induced CYP1A in channel catfish at doses that may be considered environmentally relevant.

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