Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors by chlorinated hydrocarbons and endogenous steroids
Zhou, Y. C.
Waxman, D. J.
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CitationZhou, Y C, D J Waxman. "Activation of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors by Chlorinated Hydrocarbons and Endogenous Steroids." Environmental Health Perspectives 106(Suppl 4): 983-988. (1998)
Trichloroethylene (TCE) and related hydrocarbons constitute an important class of environmental pollutants whose adverse effects on liver, kidney, and other tissues may, in part, be mediated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), ligand-activated transcription factors belonging to the steroid receptor superfamily. Activation of PPAR induces a dramatic proliferation of peroxisomes in rodent hepatocytes and ultimately leads to hepatocellular carcinoma. To elucidate the role of PPAR in the pathophysiologic effects of TCE and its metabolites, it is important to understand the mechanisms whereby PPAR is activated both by TCE and endogenous peroxisome proliferators. The investigations summarized in this article a) help clarify the mechanism by which TCE and its metabolites induce peroxisome proliferation and b) explore the potential role of the adrenal steroid and anticarcinogen dehydroepiandrosterone 3beta-sulfate (DHEA-S) as an endogenous PPAR activator. Transient transfection studies have demonstrated that the TCE metabolites trichloroacetate and dichloroacetate both activate PPARα, a major liver-expressed receptor isoform. TCE itself was inactive when tested over the same concentration range, suggesting that its acidic metabolites mediate the peroxisome proliferative potential of TCE. Although DHEA-S is an active peroxisome proliferator in vivo, this steroid does not stimulate trans-activation of PPARα or of two other PPAR isoforms, γ and δ/Nucl, when evaluated in COS-1 cell transfection studies. To test whether PPARα mediates peroxisomal gene induction by DHEA-S in intact animals, DHEA-S has been administered to mice lacking a functional PPARα gene. DHEA-S was thus shown to markedly increase hepatic expression of two microsomal P4504A proteins associated with the peroxisomal proliferative response in wild-type mice. In contrast, DHEA-S did not induce these hepatic proteins in PPARα-deficient mice. Thus, despite its unresponsiveness to steroidal peroxisome proliferators in transfection assays, PPARα is an obligatory mediator of DHEA-S-stimulated hepatic peroxisomal gene induction. DHEA-S, or one of its metabolites, may thus serve as an important endogenous regulator of liver peroxisomal enzyme expression.