Triclosan activates aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent apoptosis and affects Cyp1a1 and Cyp1b1 expression in mouse neocortical neurons

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Abstract

Triclosan (TCS) is an antimicrobial agent that is used extensively in personal care and in sanitizing products, such as soaps, toothpastes, and hair products. A number of studies have revealed the presence of TCS in human tissues, such as fat, liver and brain, in addition to blood and breast milk. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of TCS on AhR and Cyp1a1/Cyp1b1 signaling in mouse neocortical neurons in primary cultures. In addition to the use of selective ligands and siRNAs, expression levels of mRNA and proteins as well as caspase-3 activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release have been measured. We also studied the involvement of the AhR in TCS-induced LDH release and caspase-3 activation as well as the effect of TCS on ROS generation. Cultures of neocortical neurons were prepared from Swiss mouse embryos on day 15/16 of gestation. The cells were cultured in phenol red-free Neurobasal medium with B27 and glutamine, and the neurons were exposed to 1 and 10 μM TCS. Our experiments showed that the expression of AhR and Cyp1a1 mRNA decreased in cells exposed to 10 μM TCS for 3 or 6 h. In the case of Cyp1b1, mRNA expression remained unchanged compared with the control group following 3 h of exposure to TCS, but after 6 h, the mRNA expression of Cyp1b1 was decreased. Our results confirmed that the AhR is involved in the TCS mechanism of action, and our data demonstrated that after the cells were transfected with AhR siRNA, the cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic properties of TCS were decreased. The decrease in Cyp1a1 mRNA and protein expression levels accompanied by a decrease in its activity. The stimulation of Cyp1a1 activity produced by the application of an AhR agonist (βNF) was attenuated by TCS, whereas the addition of AhR antagonist (αNF) reversed the inhibitory effects of TCS. In our experiments, TCS diminished Cyp1b1 mRNA and enhanced its protein expression. In case of Cyp1a1 we observed paradoxical effect of TCS action, which caused the decrease in activity and protein expression of Cyp1a1 and the increase in protein level of AhR. Therefore, we determined the effects of TCS on the production of ROS. Our results revealed that TCS increased the production of ROS and that this effect of TCS was reversed by 10 μM N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), the ROS scavenger. To confirm an involvement of ROS in TCS-induced neurotoxicity we measured AhR, Cyp1a1, and Cyp1b1 mRNA expression levels in cells co-treated with TCS and NAC. In the presence of NAC, TCS enhanced mRNA expression of the cytochromes and AhR at 3 and 6 h, respectively. We postulate that TCS exhibits primary and secondary effects. The primary effects such as impairment of Cyp1a1 signaling are mediated by TCS-induced ROS production, whereas secondary effects of TCS are due to transcriptional activity of AhR and estrogenic properties of TCS.

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