Toxicogenomic Profile of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin in the Murine Fetal Heart: Modulation of Cell Cycle and Extracellular Matrix Genes

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Abstract

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and similar environmental contaminants have been demonstrated to be potent cardiovascular teratogens in developing piscine and avian species. In the present study, we investigated the effects of TCDD on gene expression during murine cardiovascular development. C57Bl6N pregnant mice were dosed with 1.5, 3.0, or 6.0 μg TCDD/kg on gestational day (GD) 14.5, and microarray analysis was used to characterize the global changes in fetal cardiac gene expression on GD 17.5. TCDD significantly altered expression of a number of genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism, cardiac homeostasis, extracellular matrix production/remodeling, and cell cycle regulation. Interestingly, while the AhR-responsive genes Cyp1A1, Cyp1B1, Ugt1a6, and Ahrr, were all induced by TCDD in the fetal murine heart, other AhR-responsive genes, Cyp1a2, Nqo1, and Gsta1, were not. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reactions confirmed the changes in expression of several G1/S-type cyclins and extracellular matrix–related genes. These results demonstrate the global changes in cardiac gene expression that result from TCDD exposure of the fetal murine heart and implicate genes involved in cell cycle and extracellular matrix regulation in TCDD-induced cardiac teratogenicity and functional deficits.

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