Journal Article

In Vivo Antagonism of AhR-Mediated Gene Induction by 3′-Methoxy-4′-nitroflavone in TCDD-Responsive lacZ Mice

Daniel A. Nazarenko, Stephen D. Dertinger and Thomas A. Gasiewicz

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 61, issue 2, pages 256-264
Published in print June 2001 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online June 2001 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
In Vivo Antagonism of AhR-Mediated Gene Induction by 3′-Methoxy-4′-nitroflavone in TCDD-Responsive lacZ Mice

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The aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that is a member of the bHLH-PAS family of proteins. The highest-affinity ligand of this receptor is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), which is a potent immunological, reproductive, and developmental toxicant. The mechanism of TCDD-induced toxicity and the gene modulations that result in toxicity have not been fully defined. The majority of work to date exploring AhR function has focused on agonist-activated AhR signaling. However, it is expected that a better understanding of AhR antagonism will lead to an improved understanding of TCDD toxicity and other AhR-mediated events. This study contributes to such investigations by utilizing the AhR antagonist 3′-methoxy-4′-nitroflavone (3′M4′NF) and a dioxin-responsive lacZ transgenic mouse model to characterize antagonism of the receptor system in vivo. The dose-response and time course of TCDD-induced transgene activation were evaluated in transgenic mice to provide information necessary to design 3′M4′NF in vivo studies. TCDD induction of the transgene was noted as early as 8 h after exposure in the lung. 3-μg/kg body weight TCDD was the lowest dose found to induce the reporter transgene. Finally, experiments were performed to evaluate the in vivo efficacy of 3′M4′NF. We found that 3′M4′NF inhibits TCDD-mediated reporter gene activation and CYP1A1 induction in vivo. Based on these findings, it is clear that DRE-lacZ animals and the antagonist 3′M4′NF represent important tools which will help in the identification of tissues where AhR is active, and to further characterize AhR-mediated signaling.

Keywords: aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR); 3′methoxy-4′-nitroflavone (3′M4′NF); receptor antagonism; TCDD

Journal Article.  6998 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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