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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2008 Aug;326(2):463-74. doi: 10.1124/jpet.108.139857. Epub 2008 May 15.

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-mediated impairment of B cell differentiation involves dysregulation of paired box 5 (Pax5) isoform, Pax5a.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


The persistent environmental contaminant and immunotoxicant, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), markedly suppresses humoral immune responses. We recently reported impaired down-regulation of paired box 5 (Pax5), a repressor of B cell differentiation and concomitant suppression of the IgM response by TCDD in the murine CH12.LX B cell line. The objectives of the current study were to determine the impact of TCDD treatment on molecular outcomes characteristic of terminal B cell differentiation and to assess the role that Pax5 isoforms plays in the suppression of B cell differentiation by TCDD. In this study, we show that the highly abundant full-length Pax5 isoform, Pax5a, and at least two additional modestly expressed Pax5 isoforms were expressed in CH12.LX and splenic B cells. In lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated B cells, all of the identified Pax5 isoforms were synchronously down-regulated, and in the presence of TCDD cotreatment they were abnormally and synchronously elevated, suggesting a common mechanism of regulation. Furthermore, B cell differentiation markers X-box protein-1 and major histocompatibility complex class II showed that the levels to which Pax5 was derepressed by TCDD were sufficient to impair B cell differentiation and immunoglobulin gene expression. Confirming the involvement of Pax5, ectopic expression of Pax5a in the LPS-activated CH12.LX cells closely mimicked the suppression of the IgM response by TCDD. In summary, our results demonstrate that Pax5a has a critical role in both the TCDD-mediated impairment of B cell differentiation and the suppression of the humoral immune response.

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