Suppression of the constitutive, male-specific rat hepatic cytochrome P-450 2c and its mRNA by 3,4,5,3',4',5'-hexachlorobiphenyl and 3-methylcholanthrene.
Rat liver cytochrome P-450 2c (P-450 2c) is a constitutive, male-specific enzyme that oxidatively metabolizes both steroid hormones and liphophilic foreign compounds. Exposure of adult male rats to certain xenobiotics can lead to a decrease in the expression of hepatic P-450 2c. The present studies were undertaken to examine the mechanism of this decrease. Treatment of adult male rats with 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) or 3,4,5,3',4',5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (HCB) (two compounds known to induce P-450c and P-450d as a consequence of their interaction with the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor) decreased hepatic content of P-450 2c and its associated steroid hormone 2 alpha- and 16 alpha-hydroxylase activities. Moreover, the present studies demonstrate that decreases in hepatic content of P-450 2c mRNA (determined by electrophoretic analysis of immunoprecipitated translational products) fully account for the effects of 3-MC and HCB on P-450 2c. HCB (50 mg/kg) produced the most striking decrease in P-450 2c and its mRNA, virtually eliminating their expression in hepatic tissue. The time course and dose-response for the decrease in P-450 2c and its mRNA differed markedly from that for induction of P-450c, indicating that the effects of HCB on the two proteins may involve different mechanisms. Additional experiments demonstrated that the sex difference in hepatic expression of P-450 2c is the result of a greater than 5-fold higher content of P-450 2c mRNA in male as compared to female rats. HCB decreased serum testosterone levels by greater than 98% at 5 days in adult male rats. However, the decrease in P-450 2c and serum testosterone levels was not accompanied by an increase in serum estradiol levels or induction of the female-specific enzyme P-450 2d. The present findings clearly establish that the decrease in P-450 2c produced by administration of HCB and 3-MC is the result of a decrease in the hepatic content of P-450 2c mRNA. These xenobiotics may decrease transcription of the mRNA for P-450 2c as a consequence of binding to the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor, or, alternatively, may interfere with the hormonal regulation of the mRNA for this male-specific P-450 enzyme.
Yeowell, HN; Waxman, DJ; Wadhera, A; Goldstein, JA
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