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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Protection of the Cyp1a2(-/-) null mouse against uroporphyria and hepatic injury following exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

The effect of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on the liver of C57BL/6J mice is a model for clinical sporadic porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT). There is massive uroporphyria, inhibition of uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase (UROD) activity, and hepatocellular damage. A variety of evidence implicates the CYP1A2 enzyme as necessary for mouse uroporphyria. Here we report that, 5 weeks after a single oral dose of TCDD (75 microg/kg), Cyp1a2(+/+) wild-type mice showed severe uroporphyria and greater than 90% decreases in UROD activity; in contrast, despite exposure to this potent agent Cyp1a2(-/-) knockout mice displayed absolutely no increases in hepatic porphyrin levels, even after prior iron overload, and no detectable inhibition of UROD activity. Plasma levels of alanine-aminotransferase ( ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST)-although elevated in both genotypes after TCDD exposure-were significantly less in Cyp1a2(-/-) than in Cyp1a2(+/+) mice, suggesting that the absence of CYP1A2 also affords partial protection against TCDD-induced liver toxicity. Histological examination confirmed a decrease in hepatocellular damage in TCDD-treated Cyp1a2(-/-) mice; in particular, there was no bile duct damage or proliferation that in the Cyp1a2(+/+) mice might be caused by uroporphyrin. We conclude that CYP1A2 is both necessary and essential for the potent uroporphyrinogenic effects of TCDD in mice, and that CYP1A2 also plays a role in contributing to TCDD-induced hepatocellular injury. This study has implications for both the toxicity assessment of TCDD and the hepatic injury seen in PCT patients.[1]


  1. Protection of the Cyp1a2(-/-) null mouse against uroporphyria and hepatic injury following exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Smith, A.G., Clothier, B., Carthew, P., Childs, N.L., Sinclair, P.R., Nebert, D.W., Dalton, T.P. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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