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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 1997 Apr;36(3):213-30.

Considerations on genetic and environmental factors that contribute to resistance or sensitivity of mammals including humans to toxicity of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds. Part 1: Genetic factors affecting the toxicity of TCDD.

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Institute of Ecological Chemistry, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Neuherberg, Germany.


The marked species differences in short-term toxicity (30-day LD50) of ca. 10,000 (LD50: guinea pigs ca. 1 microgram/kg body wt and Han/Wistar Kuopio rats more than 9600 micrograms/kg body wt) of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is one of the central issues of the controversies that have developed on the validity of risk assessment strategies for TCDD and related compounds. One of the most challenging issues that toxicologists face today is the identification of genes that contribute to or are responsible for increased resistance or sensitivity to TCDD and related compounds. It is assumed that most, if not all, toxic effects of TCDD are mediated more or less through the binding affinity to the Ah receptor. This hypothesis was extended and tries to explain the differences in sensitivity/resistance of animals including humans to TCDD by their total fat (lipid) content. In this respect the gene or genes which is or are responsible for obesity of mammals including humans are of great interest. An obvious linear positive logarithmic relationship between the oral 30-day LD50 (microgram/kg) of TCDD in different species and strains of mammals and their total body fat content (TBF%) was found: log LD50 = 5.30 x log (TBF)-3.22, or LD50 = 0.000603 x (TBF)5.30. By means of this regression the toxicity of TCDD in mammals including humans of different age and/or body weight can be predicted if their total body fat content is known. Examples of single-gene and polygenic disease models in different mammals, such as nonobese diabetic, diabetic, viable yellow, obese, and fat mice, as well as transgenic mice, and other suitable animal models, such as fatty Zucker rats, Han/Wistar (Kuopio) rats, and minipigs, are discussed, and predicted LD50 values of TCDD in these animals and humans are presented.

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