Journal Article

Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation Attenuates Per1 Gene Induction and Influences Circadian Clock Resetting

Can-Xin Xu, Chun Wang, Stacey L. Krager, Kathleen M. Bottum and Shelley A. Tischkau

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 132, issue 2, pages 368-378
Published in print April 2013 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online January 2013 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation Attenuates Per1 Gene Induction and Influences Circadian Clock Resetting

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Light-stimulated adjustment of the circadian clock is an important adaptive physiological response that allows maintenance of behavioral synchrony with solar time. Our previous studies indicate that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonist 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin attenuates light-induced phase resetting in early night. However, the mechanism of inhibition remains unclear. In this study, we showed that another potent AhR agonist—β-naphthoflavone (BNF)—significantly decreased light-induced phase shifts in wild-type (WT) mice, whereas AhR knockout mice had an enhanced response to light that was unaffected by BNF. Mechanistically, BNF blocked light induction of the Per1 transcript in suprachiasmatic nucleus and liver in WT mice, and BNF blocked forskolin (FSK)-induced Per1 transcripts in Hepa-1c1c7 (c7) cells. An E-box decoy did not affect BNF inhibition of FSK-induced Per1 transcripts in c7 cells. cAMP-response element (CRE)-dependent induction of Per1 promoter activity in response to FSK in combination with phorbol 12-tetradecanoate 13-acetate was suppressed in cells that expressed high levels of AhR (c7) compared with cells lacking functional AhR activity (c12). In addition, the inhibitory effect of BNF on FSK-induced Per1 was dependent on phosphorylation of JNK. Together, these results suggest that AhR activation inhibits light-induced phase resetting through the activation of JNK, negative regulation of CREs in the Per1 promoter, and suppression of Per1.

Keywords: aryl hydrocarbon receptor; Period1; phase shift; JNK; cAMP-response elements.

Journal Article.  7220 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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