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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2012 Mar 1;259(2):143-51. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2011.12.009. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin treatment alters eicosanoid levels in several organs of the mouse in an aryl hydrocarbon receptor-dependent fashion.

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  • 1Molecular Toxicology Program, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) adversely affects many mammalian organs and tissues. These effects are mediated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 are upregulated by the liganded AHR. These (and other) cytochromes P450 can metabolize arachidonic acid into a variety of bioactive eicosanoids. Towards investigating a potential role of eicosanoids in TCDD toxicity, arachidonic acid, two other unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, and up to twenty-five eicosanoids were measured in five organs/tissues of male and female wild-type and Ahr null mice treated or untreated with TCDD. TCDD generally increased the levels of the four dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs) and (where measured) 5,6-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid and 18-, 19- and 20-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (HETEs) in the serum, liver, spleen and lungs, but not the heart, of both sexes, and increased the levels in the serum, liver and spleen of several metabolites that are usually considered products of lipoxygenase activity, but which may also be generated by cytochromes P450. TCDD also increased the levels of the esterified forms of these eicosanoids in the liver in parallel with the corresponding free forms. The levels of prostanoids were generally not affected by TCDD. The above changes did not occur in Ahr null mice, and are therefore mediated by the AHR. TCDD increased the mRNA levels of Cyp1a1, Cyp1a2, Cyp1b1 and the Pla2g12a form of phospholipase A(2) to varying degrees in the different organs, and these increases correlated with some but not all the changes in eicosanoids levels in the organs, suggesting that other enzymes may also be involved.

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