Transplacental induction of mixed-function oxygenases in extra-hepatic tissues by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin

David L. Berry, Thomas J. Slaga, Neil M. Wilson, Prince K. Zachariah, Moses J. Namkung, William M. Bracken, Mont R. Juchau

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22 Scopus citations


Treatment of pregnant rats with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) resulted in a dose-dependent induction of a mixed-function oxidase system in fetal and maternal extra-hepatic tissues. At doses of 6 μmg/kg, aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) activity was increased 24-, 22- and 4-fold in fetal lung, kidney and skin, respectively, while maternal lung, kidney and adrenal AHH activity was increased 4-, 2- and 2-fold respectively. High-pressure liquid chromatographic (H.P.L.C.) analysis of benzo(a)pyrene (BP) metabolism after TCDD induction indicated that fetal lung, kidney and skin produced significant quantities of benzo(a)pyrene-7,8-dihydrodiol (BP-7,8-diol), benzo(a)pyrene-4,5-dihydrodiol (BP-4,5-diol) and 9- and 3-phenols of BP. The fetal liver produced benzo(a)pyrene-9,10-dihydrodiol (BP-9,10-diol), BP-4,5-diol, BP-7,8-diol and 9- and 3-phenols of BP. Maternal lung also produced BP-9,10-diol, while maternal adrenal gland yielded primarily the 9-phenol of BP. Epoxide hydratase activity was increased 2- to 3-fold in maternal lung, fetal lung and skin after TCDD pretreatment, but was not affected significantly in liver, kidney or placenta. Treatment of pregnant rats with TCDD increased the covalent binding of BP to DNA in preparations containing maternal liver, lung and placenta as well as fetal liver, lung and skin. Pretreatment with TCDD resulted in increased epoxide hydratase and AHH activities in extra-hepatic tissues but only AHH was increased in hepatic tissues, indicating that the inducing capabilities of TCDD differ from, but share some similarities with, both phenobarbital (PB) and 3-methylcholanthrene (MC). Thus, TCDD appears to provide an exceptionally potent and broad-spectrum transplacental induction of carcinogen-transforming enzymes in extra-hepatic tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1383-1388
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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