Browsing by Subject "aryl hydrocarbon receptor"

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  • Viluksela, Matti; Pohjanvirta, Raimo (2019)
    Dioxins are ubiquitous and persistent environmental contaminants whose background levels are still reason for concern. There is mounting evidence from both epidemiological and experimental studies that paternal exposure to the most potent congener of dioxins, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), can lower the male/female ratio of offspring. Moreover, in laboratory rodents and zebrafish, TCDD exposure of parent animals has been reported to result in reduced reproductive performance along with other adverse effects in subsequent generations, foremost through the paternal but also via the maternal germline. These impacts have been accompanied by epigenetic alterations in placenta and/or sperm cells, including changes in methylation patterns of imprinted genes. Here, we review recent key studies in this field with an attempt to provide an up-to-date picture of the present state of knowledge to the reader. These studies provide biological plausibility for the potential of dioxin exposure at a critical time-window to induce epigenetic alterations across multiple generations and the significance of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) in mediating these effects. Currently available data do not allow to accurately estimate the human health implications of these findings, although epidemiological evidence on lowered male/female ratio suggests that this effect may take place at realistic human exposure levels.
  • Pohjanvirta, Raimo; Viluksela, Matti (2020)
    Dioxins and related compounds are common environmental contaminants. Although their levels have gone down, they are still of concern, in particular regarding developmental toxicity. The adverse effects of these compounds are mediated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), whose canonical signaling pathway has been unveiled in fair detail. The alternative (non-genomic) pathways are much more obscure. AHR has also proven to be a master regulator of numerous physiological phenomena, which has led to the search of selective AHR modulators with low toxicity. Papers of this Special Issue address the developmental toxicity of dioxins and related compounds as well as selective modulators of AHR and both its canonical and alternative signaling pathways. In addition, new optical and stereoscopic methods for the detection of dioxins are presented. As a whole, this Special Issue provides an up-to-date view on a wide variety of aspects related to dioxin toxicity mechanisms from both original research articles and reviews.