Polychlorinated biphenyl 126 stimulates basal and inducible aldosterone biosynthesis of human adrenocortical H295R cells

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To understand the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on adrenal aldosterone biosynthesis, we have performed a systematical study to characterize the corresponding steroidogenic response of human adrenocortical cell line H295R to PCB126 exposure. We found that PCB126 at high concentrations stimulated basal and inducible aldosterone production. The aldosterone induction occurred concomitantly with activation of the CYP11B2 gene. Despite the fact that PCB126 acted in synergy with both potassium and angiotensin II (Ang II) in activation of aldosterone synthesis, PCB126 only modestly increased CYP11B2 mRNA expression in the presence of Ang II contrary to the synergistic transcriptional induction elicited by PCB126 and potassium. This implicated that PCB126 had differential interactions with the potassium and Ang II signaling systems in the regulation of aldosterone biosynthesis. In addition, high concentrations of PCB126 elevated transcriptional expression of the type I Ang II receptor (AT1) and might thus sensitize the cellular Ang II responsiveness in both basal and inducible aldosterone biosynthesis. SF-1 was not involved in the PCB126-induced transcriptional regulation despite its importance in steroidogenic gene activation.

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