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Publication Detail

Title: Cell proliferation arrest within intrathymic lymphocyte progenitor cells causes thymic atrophy mediated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor.

Authors: Laiosa, Michael D; Wyman, Amber; Murante, Francis G; Fiore, Nancy C; Staples, J Erin; Gasiewicz, Thomas A; Silverstone, Allen E

Published In J Immunol, (2003 Nov 01)

Abstract: Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, in lymphocytes by the immunosuppressive environmental contaminant 2,3,7,8,-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) has been shown to cause thymic atrophy in every species studied. We set out to identify the specific hemopoietic cellular populations in which the AHR was activated to lead to thymic atrophy and to determine the effect of AHR activation in those cellular populations. Initially, we examined whether AHR activation in intrathymic dendritic cells could mediate TCDD-induced thymic atrophy. It was found that thymic atrophy occurred only when the AHR could be activated in the thymocytes but not hemopoietic-derived dendritic cells or other APCs. We next analyzed the effect of TCDD on the proliferation of thymocytes in vivo. There was a significant increase in the percentage of thymocytes in the G(1) phase of the cell cycle and a significant decrease in the percentage of S plus G(2)/M thymocytes, especially in the CD4(-)CD8(-)CD3(-) triple-negative intrathymic progenitor cell population 24 h after exposure to 30 micro g/kg TCDD. Furthermore, by 12 h after exposure to TCDD, we observed approximately 60% reduction of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation in specific intrathymic progenitor cell populations. This reduction persisted for at least 6 days. These data indicate that intrathymic progenitor cells are direct targets of TCDD in the thymus and suggest that TCDD causes thymic atrophy by reducing entrance into cell cycle in these populations.

PubMed ID: 14568932 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Atrophy/chemically induced; Cell Aggregation/drug effects; Cell Aggregation/immunology; Cell Death/drug effects; Cell Death/immunology; Cell Division/drug effects; Cell Division/immunology; G1 Phase/drug effects; G1 Phase/immunology; Growth Inhibitors/toxicity; Hematopoietic Stem Cells/drug effects; Hematopoietic Stem Cells/metabolism; Hematopoietic Stem Cells/pathology*; Kinetics; Lymphocyte Subsets/drug effects; Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism; Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology*; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Mice, Knockout; Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins/toxicity; Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/biosynthesis; Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/deficiency; Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/genetics; Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/physiology*; T-Lymphocyte Subsets/drug effects; T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism; T-Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology; Thymus Gland/drug effects; Thymus Gland/metabolism; Thymus Gland/pathology*

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