Cutaneous effects of in utero and lactational exposure of C57BL/6J mice to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin


To determine the cutaneous effects of in utero and lactational exposure to the AHR ligand 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), pregnant C57BL/6J mice were exposed by gavage to a vehicle or 5 _g TCDD/kg body weight at embryonic day 12 and epidermal barrier formation and function were studied in their offspring from postnatal day 1 (P1) through adulthood. TCDDexposed pups were born with acanthosis. This effect was AHR-dependent and subsided by P6 with no evidence of subsequent inflammatory dermatitis. The challenge of adult mice with MC903 showed similar inflammatory responses in control and treated animals, indicating no long-term immunosuppression to this chemical. Chloracne-like sebaceous gland hypoplasia and cyst formation were observed in TCDD-exposed P21 mice, with concomitant microbiome dysbiosis. These effects were reversed by P35. CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 expression in the skin was increased in the exposed mice until P21, then declined. Both CYP proteins co-localized with LRIG1-expressing progenitor cells at the infundibulum. CYP1B1 protein also co-localized with a second stem cell niche in the isthmus. These results indicate that this exposure to TCDD causes a chloracne-like effect without inflammation. Transient activation of the AhR, due to the shorter half-life of TCDD in mice, likely contributes to the reversibility of these effects.

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