Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Chemical Activation of the Constitutive Androstane Receptor Leads to Activation of Oxidant-Induced Nrf2.

Authors: Rooney, John P; Oshida, Keiyu; Kumar, Ramiya; Baldwin, William S; Corton, J Christopher

Published In Toxicol Sci, (2019 01 01)

Abstract: Exposure to environmentally relevant chemicals that activate the xenobiotic receptors aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) in rodent test systems often leads to increases in oxidative stress (OS) that contributes to liver cancer induction. We hypothesized that activation of the oxidant-induced transcription factor Nrf2 could be used as a surrogate endpoint for increases in OS. We examined the relationships between activation of xenobiotic receptors and Nrf2 using previously characterized gene expression biomarkers that accurately predict modulation. Using a correlation approach (Running Fisher Test), the biomarkers were compared with microarray profiles in a mouse liver gene expression compendium. Out of the 163 chemicals examined, 47% from 53 studies activated Nrf2. We found consistent coupling between CAR and Nrf2 activation. Out of the 41 chemicals from 32 studies that activated CAR, 90% also activated Nrf2. CAR was activated earlier and at lower doses than Nrf2, indicating CAR activation preceded Nrf2 activation. Nrf2 activation by 2 CAR activators was abolished in CAR-null mice. We hypothesized that Nrf2 is activated by reactive oxygen species from the increased activity of enzymes encoded by Cyp2b family members. However, Nrf2 was similarly activated in the livers of both TCPOBOP-treated wild-type and Cyp2b9/10/13-null mice. This study provides evidence that Nrf2 activation (1) often occurs after exposure to xenobiotic chemicals, (2) is tightly linked to activation of CAR, and (3) does not require induction of 3 Cyp2b genes secondary to CAR activation.

PubMed ID: 30203046 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases/genetics; Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases/metabolism; Biomarkers/metabolism; Cytochrome P450 Family 2/genetics; Cytochrome P450 Family 2/metabolism; Enzyme Induction; Gene Expression/drug effects; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Mice, Knockout; Microsomes, Liver/drug effects*; Microsomes, Liver/metabolism; NF-E2-Related Factor 2/genetics; NF-E2-Related Factor 2/metabolism*; Oxidative Stress/drug effects*; PPAR alpha/genetics; PPAR alpha/metabolism; Phenobarbital/metabolism; Phenobarbital/toxicity*; Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear/genetics; Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear/metabolism*; Steroid Hydroxylases/genetics; Steroid Hydroxylases/metabolism; Xenobiotics/metabolism; Xenobiotics/toxicity*

to Top