"Transplacental exposure to indole-3-carbinol induces sex-specific expression of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 in the liver of Fischer 344 neonatal rats"
Larsen-Su SA, Williams DE.
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a naturally occurring component of broccoli, cabbage, and other members of the family Cruciferae, is a tumor modulator in several animal models that demonstrates significant chemoprevention against development of both spontaneous and chemically induced cancers while conversely eliciting tumor promoter effects in others.
This study examines the disposition of I3C in the pregnant rat model, specifically to determine whether I3C can traverse the maternal placenta, and what effects, if any, are elicited in the neonate. We now report that dietary I3C treatment of pregnant female rats results in appearance of I3C acid condensation products in both maternal and neonatal livers. Livers from I3C-fed maternal rats showed CYP1A1 protein induction; however, no CYP1B1 protein was detected. No CYP1A1 or CYP1B1 protein was detected in the livers of pregnant controls or their offspring.
We also report a sex-specific induction of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 protein in livers from newborns born to I3C-fed dams. CYP1A1 protein was significantly induced in male neonatal liver, but not in females. Conversely, hepatic CYP1B1 protein was induced to high levels in female neonates, with no CYP1B1 protein detected in male littermates.
Our results demonstrate that dietary I3C acid condensation products can cross the maternal placenta and differentially induce neonatal hepatic CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 in a sex-specific manner. The results highlight the potential of I3C to effect changes in the overall metabolic profile of xenobiotics to which the fetus is exposed transplacentally and indicate the possible involvement of sex-specific modulators in Ah receptor-mediated responses in this model.
Wilker C, Johnson L, Safe S.
Treatment of pregnant female Sprague-Dawley rats on Gestational Day 15 with a single oral dose of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) (0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 micrograms/kg) or indole-3-carbinol (I3C, 1.0 or 100 mg/kg), an aryl hydrocarbon (Ah) receptor agonist which is found in cruciferous vegetables, resulted in reproductive abnormalities in the male offspring (three to five litters in each treatment group).
Anogenital distance and crown-to-rump length were altered by both compounds; however, the timing of the effects (Day 1 or 5) was variable and the responses were not necessarily dose-dependent. In 62-day-old offspring, seminal vesicle (24 to 26%), prostate (32 to 44%), testicular parenchymal (14%), and epididymal weight (19%) were decreased by one or more doses of TCDD.
In contrast, I3C at one or more doses decreased daily sperm production/g testicular parenchyma (13 to 20%) and daily sperm production/testis (22%). Total number of sperum in the epididymis was significantly decreased (30 to 33%) in rats perinatally exposed to TCDD and this was due to a decreased (49 to 51%) number of sperm in the tail of the epididymis. Perinatal exposure to I3C did not affect any of these parameters. TCDD did not affect epididymal transit time of sperm through the complete epididymis at any of the doses (0.5 to 2.0 micrograms/kg). However, at the two highest doses (1.0 and 2.0 micrograms/kg), TCDD increased epididymal transit rate of sperm through the tail of the epididymis by 33 and 37%, respectively. In contrast, primarily due to decreased transit rate (39%) of sperm through the head plus body of the epididymis. I3C (1 mg/kg) significantly increased total epididymal transit time by 31%.
In conclusion, perinatal exposure of pregnant rats to I3C, an Ah receptor agonist similar to TCDD, causes reproductive abnormalities in male rat offspring; however, I3C and TCDD elicited both common and different responses.