[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonylphenol (NP) and its parent compounds, the nonylphenol ethoxylates are some of the most prevalent chemicals found in U.S. waterways. NP is also resistant to biodegradation and is a known environmental estrogen, which makes NP a chemical of concern. Our data show that NP also activates the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), an orphan nuclear receptor important in the induction of detoxification enzymes, including the P450s. Transactivation assays demonstrate that NP increases murine CAR (mCAR) transcriptional activity, and NP treatment can overcome the inhibitory effects of the inverse agonist, androstanol, on mCAR activation. Treatment of wild-type (CAR +/+) mice with NP at 50 or 75 mg/kg/day increases Cyp2b protein expression in a dose-dependent manner as demonstrated by Western blotting, and was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR of Cyp2b10 transcript levels. CAR-null (CAR -/-) mice show no increased expression of Cyp2b following NP treatment, indicating that CAR is required for NP-mediated Cyp2b induction. In addition, NP increases the translocation of CAR into the nucleus, which is the key step in the commencement of CAR's transcriptional activity. NP also induced CYP2B6 in primary human hepatocytes, and increased Cyp2b10 messenger RNA and protein expression in humanized CAR mice, indicating that NP is an activator of human CAR as well. In conclusion, NP is a CAR activator, and this was demonstrated in vitro with transactivation assays and in vivo with transgenic CAR mouse models.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonylphenol (NP) is a breakdown product of nonylphenol ethoxylates, which are used in a variety of industrial, agricultural, household cleaning, and beauty products. NP is one of the most commonly found toxicants in the United States and Europe and is considered a toxicant of concern because of its long half-life. NP is an environmental estrogen that also activates the pregnane X-receptor (PXR) and in turn induces P450s. No study to date has examined the gender-specific effects of NP on hepatic P450 expression. We provided NP at 0, 50 or 75 mg/kg/day for 7 days to male and female FVB/NJ mice and compared their P450 expression profiles. Q-PCR was performed on hepatic cDNA using primers to several CYP isoforms regulated by PXR or its relative, the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR). In female mice, NP induced Cyp2b10 and Cyp2b13, and downregulated the female-specific P450s, Cyp3a41 and Cyp3a44. In contrast, male mice treated with NP showed increased expression of Cyp2a4, Cyp2b9, and Cyp2b10. Western blots confirmed induction of Cyp2b subfamily members in both males and females. Consistent with the Q-PCR data, Western blots showed dose-dependent downregulation of Cyp3a only in females and induction of Cyp2a only in males. The overall increase in female-predominant P450s in males (Cyp2a4, 2b9) and the decrease in female-predominant P450s in females (Cyp3a41, 3a44) suggest that NP is in part feminizing the P450 profile in males and masculinizing the P450 profile in females. Testosterone hydroxylation was also altered in a gender-specific manner, as testosterone 16alpha-hydroxylase activity was only induced in NP-treated males. In contrast, NP-treated females demonstrated a greater propensity for metabolizing zoxazolamine probably due to greater Cyp2b induction in females. In conclusion, NP causes gender-specific P450 induction and therefore exposure to NP may cause distinct pharmacological and toxicological effects in males compared to females.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2006 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The two major pathways for the metabolism of estradiol-17beta (E2) are the 2- and 16-hydroxylase pathways. Research has suggested that the increased production of the estrogenically active 16-hydroxy products such as estriol (E3) may be involved in increased susceptibility to breast cancer. 4-Nonylphenol (4-NP) is an environmental estrogen that also can activate the pregnane-X receptor (PXR) and induce P-450 enzymes responsible for the production of E3. It is hypothesized that 4-NP may act in part as an environmental estrogen by increasing E3 production. Based on its affinity for the estrogen receptor (ER) alone, 4-NP may be more potent than predicted at increasing mammary cancer incidence in the MMTVneu mouse. Female mice were treated per os for 7 days at 0, 25, 50 or 75 mg kg(-1) day(-1) 4-NP to investigate the effects of 4-NP on hepatic estrogen metabolism after an acute treatment. 4-Nonylphenol increased the hepatic formation of E3 in a dose-dependent manner. However, serum E3 concentrations were only increased at 25 mg kg(-1) day(-1) presumably due to direct inhibition of E3 formation by 4-NP. MMTVneu mice were then treated for 32 weeks at 0, 30 or 45 mg kg(-1) day(-1) 4-NP to determine its effects on mammary cancer formation and estrogen metabolism. 4-Nonylphenol increased mammary cancer formation in the MMTVneu mice at 45 mg kg(-1) day(-1) but not at 30 mg kg(-1) day(-1). Mice treated with an equipotent dose of E2, 10 microg kg(-1) day(-1), based on the relative binding affinities of nonylphenol and estradiol for ER alpha, did not develop mammary cancer. This suggests that nonylphenol is more potent than predicted based on its affinity for the estrogen receptor. However, no changes in serum E3 concentrations or hepatic E3 production were measured after the chronic treatment. Changes in E3 formation were correlated with increased CYP2B levels after the 7 day 4-NP treatment, and repression of CYP2B and CYP3A after 32 weeks of 4-NP treatment. Microarray analysis and Q-PCR of liver mRNA from the mice treated for 32 weeks demonstrated a decrease in RXR alpha, the heterodimeric partner of the PXR, which may in part explain the repressed transcription of the P450s measured. In conclusion, 4-NP treatment for 32 weeks increased mammary cancer formation at a dose of 45 mg kg(-1) day(-1). However, chronic treatment with 4-NP did not increase hepatic E3 formation or serum E3 concentrations. The transient induction by 4-NP of hepatic E3 formation and serum concentrations is most likely not involved in the increased incidence of mammary cancer in MMTVneu mice since E3 serum concentrations were only increased at 25 mg kg(-1) day(-1), a dose that was not sufficient to induce mammary tumor formation. Nevertheless, the induced hepatic E3 production in the acute exposures to 4-NP was indicative of an increase in mammary cancer incidence after the chronic exposure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 4-Nonylphenol (4-NP), a major by-product of alkylphenol ethoxylates, is used in several industries and as a consequence is quite common in rivers, estuaries and other aquatic environments that receive sewage discharges or are near offshore oil platforms. 4-NP is an environmental estrogen that also binds human and rodent Pregnane X-receptor (PXR), the orphan nuclear receptor that controls the expression of several detoxication genes in mammals, including several CYP3A and CYP2B family members. These P450s preferentially hydroxylate testosterone in the 6beta- and 16beta-positions, respectively. In this study, the effects of 4-NP on testosterone metabolism and hepatic CYP3A induction were compared to the effects of St. John's Wort (SJW), a well established mammalian PXR agonist, in winter flounder. Male winter flounder (Pleuronectes americanus) were injected with 100 mg/kg/day 4-NP or 500 mg/kg/day SJW or both (S and N) every 24 h. Forty-eight hours after the initial injections, flounder were euthanized. Western blots and testosterone 6beta-hydroxylation indicated that CYP3A was increased 50% by 4-NP, but was not affected by SJW. Testosterone 16beta-hydroxylase activity was also significantly increased in flounder treated with 4-NP (2.8 x), but not with SJW. This is not consistent with our hypothesis that both SJW and 4-NP would induce CYP3A. Subtractive hybridization was performed between control and 4-NP treated hepatic mRNA samples to isolate differentially expressed genes. Subtractive hybridization indicated that several acute phase proteins were altered by 4-NP. Quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR) confirmed 4-NP altered the expression of complement components C8b, cathepsin L, C-type lectin domain, FK506 binding protein 2 precursor (FKBP2) and an EST (expressed sequence tag). SJW and 4-NP treated flounder demonstrated similar induction profiles for the EST, cathepsin L and FKBP2, suggesting that SJW was at a sufficient dose to alter gene expression but not induce P450s. In conclusion, testosterone hydroxylase activity and Western blots indicate that SJW did not activate detoxication pathways in a similar manner to 4-NP.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C Toxicology & Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromium is released during several industrial processes and has accumulated in some estuarine areas. Its effects on mammals have been widely studied, but relatively little information is available on its effects on fish. Gene expression changes are useful biomarkers that can provide information about toxicant exposure and effects, as well as the health of an organism and its ability to adapt to its surroundings. Therefore, we investigated the effects of Cr(VI) on gene expression in the sediment dwelling fish, winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus). Winter flounder ranging from 300 to 360 g were injected i.p. with Cr(VI) as chromium oxide at 25 microg/kg chromium in 0.15N KCl. Twenty-four hours following injections, winter flounder were euthanized with MS-222 and the livers were excised. Half of the livers were used to make cytosol and the other half were used to isolate mRNA for subtractive hybridization. Subtractive clones obtained were spotted onto nylon filters, which revealed several genes with potentially altered expression due to Cr(VI), including an alpha class GST, 1-Cys peroxiredoxin (a non-selenium glutathione peroxidase), a P-450 2X subfamily member, two elongation factors (EF-1 gamma and EF-2), and complement component C3. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was performed and confirmed that Cr(VI) down-regulated complement component C3, an EST, and two potential glutathione peroxidases, GSTA3 and 1-Cys peroxiredoxin. In addition, cytosolic GSH peroxidase activity was reduced, and silver stained SDS-PAGE gels from glutathione-affinity purified cytosol demonstrated that a 27.1 kDa GSH-binding protein was down-regulated greater than 50%. Taken together, Cr(VI) significantly altered the expression of several genes including two potential glutathione peroxidases in winter flounder.
Full-text · Article · May 2004 · Aquatic Toxicology