Journal Article

Sex difference in the proliferative response of mouse hepatocytes to treatment with the CAR ligand, TCPOBOP

Giovanna M. Ledda-Columbano, Monica Pibiri, Danilo Concas, Francesca Molotzu, Gabriella Simbula, Costanza Cossu and Amedeo Columbano

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 24, issue 6, pages 1059-1065
Published in print June 2003 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Sex difference in the proliferative response of mouse hepatocytes to treatment with the CAR ligand, TCPOBOP

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The nuclear receptor Constitutive Androstane Receptor (CAR) binds DNA as a heterodimer with the retinoic-X receptor and activates gene transcription. Previously, in vitro studies have shown that the testosterone metabolites, androstanol and androstenol, inhibit the constitutive transcriptional activity of CAR, suggesting that differences might exist in the response to CAR-mediated gene activation between different sexes. In this study, we have analyzed the response of female and male CD-1 mice to stimulation of hepatocyte proliferation caused by the CAR ligand TCPOBOP. Results showed that the labelling index of female hepatocytes at 24, 30 and 36 h after treatment was much higher than that found in males. The higher proliferative activity of female hepatocytes was associated with increased hepatic levels of cyclin D1, cyclin A, E2F and enhanced phosphorylation of pRb and p107. The increased mitogenic response of females was associated with higher mRNA levels of CYP2B10, a known target of CAR. Administration of androstanol to TCPOBOP-treated mice caused a reduction of labelling index, which was accompanied by a decrease of CYP2B10 and CAR mRNA levels. In conclusion, the results show that, in addition to microsomal detoxification, another biological response elicited by the CAR ligand TCPOBOP, namely, hepatocyte proliferation, occurs at higher levels in female than male mice, suggesting that CAR transcriptional activity in males is partially counteracted by physiological higher levels of testosterone metabolites such as androstanol and androstenol.

Keywords: BrdU, bromodeoxyuridine; CAR, constitutive androstane receptor; CIPRO, ciprofibrate; PB, phenobarbital; TCPOBOP, 1,4-bis[2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)]benzene.

Journal Article.  5172 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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