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Mol Cells. 2001 Dec 31;12(3):372-9.

TCDD-up-regulation of IGFBP-6 and IL-5R alpha subunit genes in vivo and in vitro.

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Department of Biology, Changwon National University, Korea.


Although the potent environmental contaminant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) has been well known for its immunosuppressive activity, the mechanisms of its action have been difficult to elucidate. This is partly due to its inability to exert its effects in vitro. To further elucidate the underlying mechanisms of TCDD effects, we screened for genes that are regulated by the in vivo TCDD treatment of mice that are challenged with allogeneic tumor cells. RNA, collected from lymphoid organs including the thymus, draining lymph nodes, and bone marrow, was reverse-transcribed to cDNA and hybridized to DNA arrays that consisted of 588 genes (ClonTech, USA). The expression of the NF-kappaB p65, c-jun, and p27(Kip1) genes was increased by the TCDD treatment, as previously reported. In addition, we found that the expression of several genes, which were not reported as regulated by TCDD, were modulated by TCDD. Some genes, including insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-6 (IGFBP-6) and IL-5R alpha, were upregulated; while other genes, including CD14, were down-regulated. The expression of the IGFBP-6 and IL-5R alpha subunit genes by TCDD in the thymus was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. Furthermore, TCDD effects on the expression of the IGFBP-6 gene was also observed with EL4 mouse thymoma cells. This suggests that IGFBP-6 may be involved in thymic atrophy, and EL4 cells may be used as an in vitro model for studying molecular mechanisms of thymic atrophy.

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