Project description:Mercury (Hg) and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) are major environmental contaminants that commonly co-occur in the environment. Both Hg and TCDD are associated with a number of human diseases including cancers. While the individual toxicological effects of Hg and TCDD have been extensively investigated, studies on co-exposure are limited to a few genes and pathways. Therefore, a significant knowledge gap exists in the understanding of the deleterious effects of co-exposure to Hg and TCDD. Due to the prevalence of Hg and TCDD co-contamination in the environment and the major human health hazards they pose, it is important to obtain a fuller understanding of genome-wide effects of Hg and TCDD co-exposure. In this study, by performing a comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) exposed to Hg and TCDD individually and in combination, we have uncovered a subset of genes with altered expression only in the co-exposed cells. We also identified the additive as well as antagonistic effects of Hg and TCDD on gene expression. Moreover, we found that co-exposure impacted several biological and disease processes not affected by Hg or TCDD individually. Our studies show that the consequences of Hg and TCDD co-exposure on the transcriptional program and biological processes could be substantially different from single exposures, thus providing new insights into the co-exposure-specific pathogenic processes.
Project description:Though heavy metal such as mercury is toxic to plants and microorganisms, the synergistic activity between them may offer benefit for surviving. In this study, a mercury-reducing bacterium, Photobacterium spp. strain MELD1, with an MIC of 33 mg x kg(-1) mercury was isolated from a severely mercury and dioxin contaminated rhizosphere soil of reed (Phragmites australis). While the whole genome sequencing of MELD1 confirmed the presence of a mer operon, the mercury reductase MerA gene showed 99% sequence identity to Vibrio shilloni AK1 and implicates its route resulted from the event of horizontal gene transfer. The efficiency of MELD1 to vaporize mercury (25 mg x kg(-1), 24 h) and its tolerance to toxic metals and xenobiotics such as lead, cadmium, pentachlorophenol, pentachloroethylene, 3-chlorobenzoic acid, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and 1,2,3,7,8,9-hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin is promising. Combination of a long yard bean (Vigna unguiculata ssp. Sesquipedalis) and strain MELD1 proved beneficial in the phytoprotection of mercury in vivo. The effect of mercury (Hg) on growth, distribution and tolerance was examined in root, shoot, leaves and pod of yard long bean with and without the inoculation of strain MELD1. The model plant inoculated with MELD1 had significant increases in biomass, root length, seed number, and increased mercury uptake limited to roots. Biolog plate assay were used to assess the sole-carbon source utilization pattern of the isolate and Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) productivity was analyzed to examine if the strain could contribute to plant growth. The results of this study suggest that, as a rhizosphere-associated symbiont, the synergistic activity between the plant and MELD1 can improve the efficiency for phytoprotection, phytostabilization and phytoremediation of mercury.
Project description:There is limited understanding of how radiation or chemicals induce genomic instability, and how the instability is epigenetically transmitted to the progeny of exposed cells or organisms. Here, we measured the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) in murine embryonal fibroblasts exposed to ionizing radiation or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), which were previously shown to induce genomic instability in this cell line. Cadmium was used as a reference agent that does not induce genomic instability in our experimental model. Measurements at 8 and 15?days after exposure did not identify any such persistent changes that could be considered as signals transmitting genomic instability to the progeny of exposed cells. However, measurements at 2?days after exposure revealed findings that may reflect initial stages of genomic instability. Changes that were common to TCDD and two doses of radiation (but not to cadmium) included five candidate signature miRNAs and general up-regulation of miRNA expression. Expression of DNMT3a, DNMT3b, and DNMT2 was suppressed by cadmium but not by TCDD or radiation, consistently with the hypothesis that sufficient expression of DNMTs is necessary in the initial phase of induced genomic instability.
Project description:We employed DNA microarray to identify unique hepatic gene expression patterns associated with subchronic exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and other halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (HAHs). Female Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed for 13 weeks to toxicologically equivalent doses of four different HAHs based on the toxic equivalency factor of each chemical: TCDD (100 ng/kg/day), 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF; 200 ng/kg/day), 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126; 1,000 ng/kg/day), or 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB153; 1,000 microg/kg/day). Global gene expression profiles for each exposure, which account for 8,799 gene probe sets contained on Affymetrix RGU34A GeneChips, were compared by principal components analysis. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligands TCDD, PeCDF, and PCB126 produced very similar global gene expression profiles that were unique from the nonAhR ligand PCB153, underscoring the extensive impact of AhR activation and/or the resulting hepatic injury on global gene expression in female rat liver. Many genes were co-expressed during the 13-week TCDD, PeCDF, or PCB126 exposures, including classical AhR-regulated genes and some genes not previously characterized as being AhR regulated, such as carcinoembryonic-cell adhesion molecule 4 (C-CAM4) and adenylate cyclase-associated protein 2 (CAP2). Real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction confirmed the increased expression of these genes in TCDD-, PeCDF-, and PCB126-exposed rats as well as the up- or down-regulation of several other novel dioxin-responsive genes. In summary, DNA microarray successfully identified dioxin-responsive genes expressed after exposure to AhR ligands (TCDD, PeCDF, PCB126) but not after exposure to the non-AhR ligand PCB153. Together, these findings may help to elucidate some of the fundamental features of dioxin toxicity and may further clarify the biologic role of the AhR signaling pathway.
Project description:Deficits in cognitive functioning have been reported in humans exposed to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds. Evidence suggests that dioxins induce cholinergic dysfunction mediated by hypothyroidism. However, little is known about direct effects of dioxins on the cholinergic system.We investigated the action of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a key enzyme in cholinergic neurotransmission.We used SK-N-SH human-derived neuronal cells to evaluate the effect of dioxin exposure on AChE.We consistently found a significant decrease in enzymatic activity of AChE in cultured neurons treated with TCDD. We also found that, unlike organophosphate pesticides that directly act on the catalytic center of AChE, the suppressive effect of dioxin was through transcriptional regulation. The addition of CH223191, an inhibitor of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent pathway, counteracted the TCDD-induced suppression of AChE, suggesting involvement of the AhR-dependent pathway. The existence of putative dioxin-responsive element (DRE) consensus sequences in the human ACHE promoter region further supported this hypothesis. Consistent with the absence of DRE elements in mouse or rat ACHE promoter regions, suppression of AChE by TCDD did not occur in rat neuronal cells, indicating a potential species-specific effect.In SK-N-SH cells, dioxin suppressed the activity of neuronal AChE via AhR-mediated transcriptional down-regulation. This is the first study to report direct interference by dioxin with the cholinergic neurotransmission system.
Project description:Environmental compounds can promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease in subsequent generations following ancestral exposure during fetal gonadal sex determination. The current study examined the ability of dioxin (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo[p]dioxin, TCDD) to promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and DNA methylation epimutations in sperm. Gestating F0 generation females were exposed to dioxin during fetal day 8 to 14 and adult-onset disease was evaluated in F1 and F3 generation rats. The incidences of total disease and multiple disease increased in F1 and F3 generations. Prostate disease, ovarian primordial follicle loss and polycystic ovary disease were increased in F1 generation dioxin lineage. Kidney disease in males, pubertal abnormalities in females, ovarian primordial follicle loss and polycystic ovary disease were increased in F3 generation dioxin lineage animals. Analysis of the F3 generation sperm epigenome identified 50 differentially DNA methylated regions (DMR) in gene promoters. These DMR provide potential epigenetic biomarkers for transgenerational disease and ancestral environmental exposures. Observations demonstrate dioxin exposure of a gestating female promotes epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease and sperm epimutations.
Project description:The prevalence of cognitive abnormalities in children has partly been ascribed to environmental chemical exposure. Appropriate animal models and tools for evaluating higher brain function are required to examine this problem. A recently developed behavioral test in which rats learn six unique flavor-location pairs in a test arena was used to evaluate paired-associate learning, a hallmark of the higher cognitive function that is essential to language learning in humans. Pregnant Long-Evans rats were dosed by gavage with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) or 2,3,7,8-tetrabromodibenzo-p-dioxin (TBDD) at a dose of 0, 200, or 800 ng/kg (referred as Control, TCDD-200, TCDD-800, TBDD-200, or TBDD-800, hereafter) on gestational day 15, and the offspring was tested during adulthood. Paired-associate learning was found to be impaired in the TCDD-200 and TBDD-200 groups, but not in either group exposed to 800 ng/kg, the observations of which were ensured by non-cued trials. As for the emotional aspect, during habituation, the TCDD-200 and TBDD-200 groups showed significantly longer latencies to enter the test arena from a start box than the Control, TCDD-800, and TBDD-800 groups, suggesting that the TCDD-200 and TBDD-200 groups manifested anxiety-like behavior. Thus, both the chlorinated dioxin and its brominated congener affected higher brain function to a similar extent in a nearly identical manner. Use of the behavioral test that can evaluate paired-associate learning in rats demonstrated that in utero and lactational exposure to not only TCDD but also TBDD perturbed higher brain function in rat offspring in a nonmonotonic manner.
Project description:Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that mediates biological responses to endogenous and environmental chemical cues. Increasing evidence shows that the AHR plays physiological roles in regulating development, homeostasis, and function of a variety of cell lineages in the immune system. However, the role of AHR in human B cell development has not been investigated. Toward this end, an in vitro feeder-free human B cell developmental model system was employed using human cord blood CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Using this model, we found that AHR activation by the high-affinity ligand 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin significantly suppressed the generation of early B cells and pro-B cells from hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, indicating the impairment of B cell lineage specification and commitment. Addition of an AHR antagonist reversed 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-elicited suppression of early B and pro-B cells, suggesting a role of AHR in regulating B lymphopoiesis. Gene expression analysis revealed a significant decrease in the messenger RNA level of early B cell factor 1 (EBF1) and paired box 5, two critical transcription factors directing B cell lineage specification and commitment. Additionally, binding of the ligand-activated AHR to the putative dioxin response elements in the EBF1 promoter was demonstrated by EMSAs and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis, suggesting transcriptional regulation of EBF1 by AHR. Taken together, this study demonstrates a role for the AHR in regulating human B cell development, and it suggests that transcriptional alterations of EBF1 by the AHR are involved in the underlying mechanism.
Project description:Human epidemiological and animal studies suggest that developmental exposure to contaminants that activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) lead to suppression of immune system function throughout life. The persistence of immune deficiency throughout life suggests that the cellular target of AHR activation is a fetal hematopoietic progenitor or stem cell.The aim of this study was to identify the effects of transplacental exposure to an AHR agonist on long-term self-renewal of fetal hematopoietic stem cells.Pregnant C57BL/6 or AHR+/- mice were exposed to the AHR agonist, 2,3,7,8-tetra-?chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). On day 14 of gestation, hematopoietic progenitors from wild-type or AHR-deficient fetuses were placed into in vitro T-lymphocyte differentiation cultures to identify the effects of transplacental TCDD on AHR activation in the fetus. We next analyzed the fetal hematopoietic progenitor cells for changes in reactive oxygen species (ROS). Finally, hematopoietic progenitors from fetuses exposed transplacentally to TCDD were mixed 1:1 with cells from congenic controls and used to reconstitute lethally irradiated recipients for analysis of long-term self-renewal potential.Our findings suggested that the effects of TCDD on the developing hematopoietic system were mediated by direct AHR activation in the fetus. Furthermore, developmental AHR activation by TCDD increased ROS in the fetal hematopoietic stem cells, and the elevated ROS was associated with a reduced capacity of the TCDD-exposed fetal cells to compete with control cells in a mixed competitive irradiation/reconstitution assay.Our findings indicate that AHR activation by TCDD in the fetus during pregnancy leads to impairment of long-term self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells.Laiosa MD, Tate ER, Ahrenhoerster LS, Chen Y, Wang D. 2016. Effects of developmental activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin on long-term self-renewal of murine hematopoietic stem cells. Environ Health Perspect 124:957-965; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1509820.
Project description:2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and the relatively non-toxic selective aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) modulator 6-methyl-1,3,8-trichlorodibenzo-furan (MCDF) induced CYP1A1-dependent ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity and inhibited proliferation of seven estrogen receptor (ER) negative breast cancer cell lines. MCDF, TCDD and structurally related 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran, 1,2,3,7,8-pentachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran, and 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl induced CYP1A1 and inhibited proliferation of BT-474 and MDA-MB-468 cells. In BT474 and MDA-MB-468 cells transfected with a small inhibitory RNA for the AhR, the antiproliferative activity of the chlorinated aromatic compounds was reversed, whereas for MCDF, only partial reversal was observed, suggesting that this compound acts through both AhR-dependent and AhR-independent pathways in these two cell lines. MCDF also inhibited tumor growth in athymic nude mice in which MDA-MB-468 cells were injected directly into the mammary fat pad. These results suggest that the AhR is a potential drug target for treatment of ER-negative breast cancer.