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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1996 Jan;136(1):79-86.

Modulation by iron of hepatic microsomal and nuclear cytochrome P450, and cytosolic glutathione S-transferase and peroxidase in C57BL/10ScSn mice induced with polychlorinated biphenyls (Aroclor 1254).

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MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester, United Kingdom.


Exposure of iron-loaded C57BL/10ScSn mice to the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) mixture Aroclor 1254 in the diet (0.01%) for 5 weeks caused massive hepatic porphyria far greater than occurred with PCBs alone. This regime eventually causes hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatic microsomal ethoxy-, pentoxy-, and benzyloxyresorufin dealkylase activities (respectively EROD, PROD, and BROD) catalyzed primarily by cytochrome P4501A1 and 2B isoenzymes were markedly induced after 2 weeks of diet (when no porphyria had developed) but showed little effect of iron. EROD activity in the nuclear membrane was also induced by the PCBs as was CYP1A1 protein when shown by immunoblotting. Nuclear dealkylase activities of PCBs-treated mice were considerably less than microsomal activities but were stimulated by iron pretreatment. The mechanism of the iron-enhanced toxicity may be due to oxidative damage associated with chronic induction of CYP1A1 isoforms. Lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence (CL) by microsomes and nuclear membranes was used as a method to estimate their potential to form reactive oxygen species. Despite CL being induced by PCBs it was less with microsomes from iron-treated mice. In a comparison of a variety of inducers of microsomal cytochrome P450 there was no correlation between inducer, uroporphyrogenic agent, and intensity of CL. On the other hand, cytosolic glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene and 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene (DCNB) as substrates, were also induced by the PCBs mixture, the induction with DCNB being synergistically potentiated by iron pretreatment. Complementary results were observed by immunocytochemistry using anti alpha-GST antibody. In contrast, total glutathione peroxidase activity and selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase activity were depressed by PCBs but particularly in mice also administered iron. The results illustrate that PCBs not only induce CYP1A1 in microsomes but also in the nuclear membrane, which may be of significance in the mechanism of the iron-enhanced carcinogenicity of these chemicals. The iron-enhanced induction of GST with accompanying depletion of glutathione peroxidase provides evidence for oxidative processes induced in vivo by the PCBs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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