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Drug Metab Dispos. 2013 Feb;41(2):457-65. doi: 10.1124/dmd.112.048835. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

The role of cytochrome P450-dependent metabolism in the regulation of mouse hepatic growth hormone signaling components and target genes by 3-methylcholanthrene.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


3-Methylcholanthrene (MC) is a readily metabolized aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonist. MC disrupts expression of mouse hepatic growth hormone (GH) signaling components and suppresses cytochrome P450 2D9 (Cyp2d9), a male-specific gene controlled by pulsatile GH via signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b). To determine if these effects of MC depend on hepatic microsomal P450-mediated activity, we examined biologic responses to MC treatment in liver Cpr-null (LCN) mice with hepatocyte-specific conditional deletion of NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (POR). MC caused mild induction of Por and a hepatic inflammatory marker in wild-type mice, whereas MC caused strong induction of AHR target genes, Cyp1a1, Cyp1a2, and Cyp1b1 in wild-type and LCN mice. Two mouse hepatic STAT5b target genes, Cyp2d9 and major urinary protein 2 (Mup2), were suppressed by MC in wild-type mice, and the CYP2D9 mRNA response was maintained in LCN mice. In wild-type mice only, MC decreased hepatic GH receptor (GHR) mRNA but increased GHR protein levels. There was an apparent impairment of STAT5 phosphorylation by MC in wild-type and LCN mice, but large interanimal variation prevented achievement of statistical significance. In vehicle-treated mice, basal levels of MUP2 mRNA, GHR mRNA, GHR protein, and the activation status of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 and Akt were influenced by hepatic Por genetic status. These results indicate that the effects of MC on hepatic GH signaling components and target genes are complex, involving aspects that are both dependent and independent of hepatic microsomal P450-mediated activity.

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