Aroclor 1254 as a 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin antagonist: Effects on enzyme induction and immunotoxicity

R. Bannister, D. Davis, T. Zacharewski, I. Tizard, S. Safe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and Aroclor 1254 induced the cytochrome P-450 dependent monooxygenases, aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) and ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) in rat hepatoma H-4-II E cells and C57BL/6J mice. It has been proposed that both Aroclor 1254 and 2,3,7,8-TCDD induce these enzymes via a common mechanism which features initial binding to the aryl hydrocarbon (Ah) cytosolic receptor protein. The major difference between these compounds was the relative potency (i.e. 2,3,7,8-TCDD ≫ Aroclor 1254). Cotreatment of rat hepatoma H-4-II E cells or C57BL/6J mice with a dose of 2,3,7,8-TCDD which submaximally induces AHH and EROD and a dose of Aroclor 1254 which exhibited little or no induction activity resulted in significant antagonism of the induction effect of 2,3,7,8-TCDD. For example, cotreatment of C57BL/6J mice with 2,3,7,8-TCDD (15 nmol/kg) and Aroclor 1254 (25, 75 and 150 μmol/kg) resulted in up to 23% antagonism of AHH induction by 2,3,7,8-TCDD. Moreover, cotreatment with a higher dose of the 2,3,7,8-TCDD agonist (30 or 50 nmol/kg) partially reversed some of the antagonism by Aroclor 1254. In vivo antagonism was observed only at Aroclor 1254/2,3,7,8-TCDD molar ratios of 1667:1, 5000:1 and 10 000:1. Administration of 2,3,7,8-TCDD (3.72 nmol/kg) to C57BL/6J mice resulted in a 76% decrease in the splenic plaque forming cell response to sheep red blood cells. This T-cell mediated immunotoxic effect of 2,3,7,8-TCDD segregates with the Ah locus. In contrast, administration of 5, 15, 75 and 150 μmol/kg of Aroclor 1254 resulted in impairment of the immune response only at the highest dose level. However, cotreatment of mice with 2,3,7,8-TCDD (3.72 nmol/kg) and Aroclor 1254 (5, 15 or 75 μmol/kg) resulted in no significant decrease in the plaque forming cell response and complete protection from the immunotoxicity of 2,3,7,8-TCDD. Cotreatment of the mice with Aroclor 1254 (75 μmol/kg) and a higher dose of the 2,3,7,8-TCDD agonist resulted in partial reversal of the protective effects of Aroclor 1254. The in vitro and in vivo data suggest that within specific antagonist/agonist dose ratios, Aroclor 1254 can antagonize at least 2 Ah receptor-mediated effects of 2,3,7,8-TCDD, namely AHH induction and immunotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-42
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 12 1987


  • 2,3,7,8-TCDD
  • Antagonism
  • Aroclor 1254

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Aroclor 1254 as a 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin antagonist: Effects on enzyme induction and immunotoxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this