The following evidence suggests that 2,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl resembles isosafrole as an inducer of hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450d in the immature male Wistar rat. First, the major hepatic microsomal polypeptide (Mr = 52,000), intensified after treatment of rats with 2,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl, comigrated in sodium dodecyi sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with cytochrome P-450d (i.e. the major isosafrole-inducible polypeptide) but had an electrophoretic mobility intermediate between cytochrome P-450b (Mr ≈ 51,500) and cytochrome P-450c (Mr = 56,000) (i.e. the major phenobarbital- and 3-methylcholanthrene-inducible polypeptides respectively). Second, when pairs of various xenobiotics were coadministered to rats at doses effecting maximal induction of hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450, the inductive effects of 2,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl were additive with those of phenobarbital, 3-methylcholanthrene and pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile but not with those of isosafrole. The inductive effects of phenobarbital, 3-methylcholanthrene, pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile and isosafrole were all expressed additively with each other. Third, in contrast to phenobarbital and pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile treatment, treatment of rats with 2,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl, isosafrole or 3-methylcholanthrene failed to increase markedly the proportion of total cytochrome P-450 capable of forming a 446 nm-absorbing complex with metyrapone. Fourth, the in vitro metabolism of isosafrole, catalyzed by hepatic microsomes from rats treated with 2,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl, isosafrole or 3-methylcholanthrene, produced complexes between ferrous cytochrome P-450 and a methylenedioxyphenyl metabolite, the spectra of which were between 400 and 500 nm and were similar to each other but which were readily distinguishable from the spectra of the product adducts formed during the metabolism of isosafrole by hepatic microsomes from rats treated with corn oil (control), phenobarbital, or pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile.
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