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Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Nov;112(16):1636-44.

Subchronic exposure to TCDD, PeCDF, PCB126, and PCB153: effect on hepatic gene expression.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Pharmacy, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


We employed DNA microarray to identify unique hepatic gene expression patterns associated with subchronic exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and other halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (HAHs). Female Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed for 13 weeks to toxicologically equivalent doses of four different HAHs based on the toxic equivalency factor of each chemical: TCDD (100 ng/kg/day), 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF; 200 ng/kg/day), 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126; 1,000 ng/kg/day), or 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB153; 1,000 microg/kg/day). Global gene expression profiles for each exposure, which account for 8,799 gene probe sets contained on Affymetrix RGU34A GeneChips, were compared by principal components analysis. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligands TCDD, PeCDF, and PCB126 produced very similar global gene expression profiles that were unique from the nonAhR ligand PCB153, underscoring the extensive impact of AhR activation and/or the resulting hepatic injury on global gene expression in female rat liver. Many genes were co-expressed during the 13-week TCDD, PeCDF, or PCB126 exposures, including classical AhR-regulated genes and some genes not previously characterized as being AhR regulated, such as carcinoembryonic-cell adhesion molecule 4 (C-CAM4) and adenylate cyclase-associated protein 2 (CAP2). Real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction confirmed the increased expression of these genes in TCDD-, PeCDF-, and PCB126-exposed rats as well as the up- or down-regulation of several other novel dioxin-responsive genes. In summary, DNA microarray successfully identified dioxin-responsive genes expressed after exposure to AhR ligands (TCDD, PeCDF, PCB126) but not after exposure to the non-AhR ligand PCB153. Together, these findings may help to elucidate some of the fundamental features of dioxin toxicity and may further clarify the biologic role of the AhR signaling pathway.

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