Journal Article

TCDD and a Putative Endogenous AhR Ligand, ITE, Elicit the Same Immediate Changes in Gene Expression in Mouse Lung Fibroblasts

Ellen C. Henry, Stephen L. Welle and Thomas A. Gasiewicz

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 114, issue 1, pages 90-100
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfp285
TCDD and a Putative Endogenous AhR Ligand, ITE, Elicit the Same Immediate Changes in Gene Expression in Mouse Lung Fibroblasts

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The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-dependent transcription factor, mediates toxicity of several classes of xenobiotics and also has important physiological roles in differentiation, reproduction, and immunity, although the endogenous ligand(s) mediating these functions is/are as yet unidentified. One candidate endogenous ligand, 2-(1′H-indolo-3′-carbonyl)-thiazole-4-carboxylic acid methyl ester (ITE), is a potent AhR agonist in vitro, activates the murine AhR in vivo, but does not induce toxicity. We hypothesized that ITE and the toxic ligand, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), may modify transcription of different sets of genes to account for their different toxicity. To test this hypothesis, primary mouse lung fibroblasts were exposed to 0.5μM ITE, 0.2nM TCDD, or vehicle for 4 h, and total gene expression was evaluated using microarrays. After this short-term and low-dose treatment, several hundred genes were changed significantly, and the response to ITE and TCDD was remarkably similar, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Induced gene sets included the expected battery of AhR-dependent xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes, as well as several sets that reflect the inflammatory role of lung fibroblasts. Real time quantitative RT-qPCR assay of several selected genes confirmed these microarray data and further suggested that there may be kinetic differences in expression between ligands. These data suggest that ITE and TCDD elicit an analogous change in AhR conformation such that the initial transcription response is the same. Furthermore, if the difference in toxicity between TCDD and ITE is mediated by differences in gene expression, then it is likely that secondary changes enabled by the persistent TCDD, but not by the shorter lived ITE, are responsible.

Keywords: aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR); endogenous ligand; TCDD; microarray; mouse lung fibroblasts; gene expression

Journal Article.  6222 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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