2008 Volume 33 Issue 4 Pages 405-413
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr), a ligand-activated transcriptional factor, mediates the transcriptional activation of a battery of genes encoding drug metabolism enzymes. In the present study, we investigated the hepatic mRNA expression profile in Ahr-null (Ahr KO) mice compared to wild-type mice by microarray analysis to find new Ahr target genes. Pooled total RNA samples of liver extracted from 7- and 60-week-old Ahr KO or wild-type mice were studied by DNA microarray representing 19,867 genes. It was demonstrated that 23 genes were up-regulated and 20 genes were down-regulated over 2 fold in Ahr KO mice compared with wild-type mice commonly within the different age groups. We focused on insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (Igfbp-1) and lipoprotein lipase (Lpl) that were up-regulated in Ahr KO mice. The higher expression in Ahr KO mice compared to wild-type mice were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR analysis. In the wild-type mice but not in the Ahr KO mice, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) treatment increased the Igfbp-1 and Lpl mRNA levels. The expression profile of Igfbp-1 protein was consistent with that of Igfbp-1 mRNA. Since Lpl is the primary enzyme responsible for hydrolysis of lipids in lipoproteins, the serum triglyceride levels were determined. Indeed, the serum triglyceride levels in Ahr KO mice was lower than that in wild-type mice in accordance with the Lpl mRNA levels. Contrary to our expectation, TCDD treatment significantly increased the serum triglyceride levels in wild-type, but did not in Ahr KO mice. These results suggest that serum triglyceride levels are not correlated with hepatic Lpl expression levels. In the present study, we found that Ahr paradoxically regulates Igfbp-1 and Lpl expressions in the liver.