You AhR What You Eat: Linking Diet and Immunity
ABSTRACT The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is responsible for the toxic effects of environmental pollutants such as dioxin, but little is known about its normal physiological functions. Li et al. (2011) now show that specific dietary compounds present in cruciferous vegetables act through the AhR to promote intestinal immune function, revealing AhR as a critical link between diet and immunity.
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ABSTRACT: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor. It heterodimerizes with aryl hydrocarbon nuclear translocator, binds to the xenobiotic-responsive element (XRE), and enhances the transcription of genes encoding xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. AHR also plays important roles in the inhibition of intestinal carcinogenesis and the modulation of gut immunity. It is very important to screen for AHR-activating compounds because those are expected to produce the AHR-mediated physiological functions. Until now, AHR-mediated transcriptional activity represented by the transcriptional activity of CYP1A1 in luciferase assay has been applied as a screening procedure for AHR-activating compounds. However, the AHR-mediated transcriptional activity did not necessarily correspond with the CYP1A1 transcriptional activity. To evaluate AHR-mediated transcriptional activity more specifically, and to screen for AHR-activating compounds, we establish a stable AHR-responsive HepG2 cell line by co-transfection of an AHR expression vector and an AHR-responsive vector (pGL3-XRE) containing a luciferase gene and three tandemly arranged XRE elements into a human hepatoma derived cell line, HepG2. The induction of luciferase activity in the stable AHR-responsive HepG2 cell line by typical AHR activators occurred in time- and concentration-dependent manners. By assessing the AHR target genes CYP1A1, UGT1A1, and ABCG2, an AHR activator-mediated induction was observed at mRNA level. Furthermore, the AHR activator-mediated induction of luciferase activity was positively correlated with the mRNA levels of CYP1A1, UGT1A1, and ABCG2. These findings verified the usefulness of the established stable AHR-responsive HepG2 cell line for the screening of AHR-activating compounds.Cytotechnology 03/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10616-014-9711-6 · 1.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (GRA) is a pharmacologically active component of licorice root with documented immunomodulatory properties. We reported that GRA administered orally to mice induces B cell recruitment to isolated lymphoid follicles (ILF) in the small intestine and shortens the duration of rotavirus antigen shedding. ILF are dynamic lymphoid tissues in the gut acquired post-natally upon colonization with commensal bacteria and mature through B cell recruitment to the follicles, resulting in up-regulation of IgA synthesis in response to changes in the composition of microbiota. In this study, we investigated potential mechanisms by which GRA induces ILF maturation in the ileum and the colon using mice depleted of enteric bacteria and a select group of mice genetically deficient in pattern recognition receptors. The data show GRA was unable to induce ILF maturation in ileums of mice devoid of commensal bacteria, MyD88-/- or NOD2-/- mice, but differentially induced ILF in colons. Increased expression of chemokine and chemokine receptor genes that modulate B and T cell recruitment to the mucosa were in part dependent on NOD2, TLR, and signaling adaptor protein MyD88. Together the results suggest GRA induces ILF through cooperative signals provided by bacterial ligands under normal conditions to induce B cell recruitment to ILF to the gut, but that the relative contribution of these signals differ between ileum and colon.PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e100878. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0100878 · 3.53 Impact Factor
Article: Calcium in Color10/2011; 4(193):ec279-ec279. DOI:10.1126/scisignal.4193ec279