Aryl hydrocarbon receptor-dependent upregulation of Cyp1b1 by TCDD and diesel exhaust particles in rat brain microvessels

Aude Jacob, Anika M.S. Hartz, Sophie Potin, Xavier Coumoul, Salah Yousif, Jean Michel Scherrmann, Björn Bauer, Xavier Declèves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: AhR activates the transcription of several target genes including CYP1B1. Recently, we showed CYP1B1 as the major cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme expressed in human brain microvessels. Here, we studied the effect of AhR activation by environmental pollutants on the expression of Cyp1b1 in rat brain microvessels.Methods: Expression of AhR and Cyp1b1 was detected in isolated rat brain microvessels. AhR was immunovisualised in brain microvessel endothelial cells. The effect of AhR ligands on Cyp1b1 expression was studied using isolated brain microvessels after ex vivo and/or in vivo exposure to TCDD, heavy hydrocarbons containing diesel exhaust particles (DEP) or Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ 9-THC).Results: After ex vivo exposure to TCDD (a highly potent AhR ligand) for 3 h, Cyp1b1 expression was significantly increased by 2.3-fold in brain microvessels. A single i.p. dose of TCDD also increased Cyp1b1 transcripts (22-fold) and Cyp1b1 protein (2-fold) in rat brain microvessels at 72 h after TCDD. Likewise, DEP treatment (in vivo and ex vivo) strongly induced Cyp1b1 protein in brain microvessels. DEP-mediated Cyp1b1 induction was inhibited by actinomycin D, cycloheximide, or by an AhR antagonist. In contrast, a sub-chronic in vivo treatment with Δ 9-THC once daily for 7 seven days had no effect on Cyp1b1 expression. Conclusions: Our results show that TCDD and DEP strongly induced Cyp1b1 in rat brain microvessels, likely through AhR activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalFluids and Barriers of the CNS
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 25 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by UMN CoP start-up funds (to BB).


  • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
  • Brain microvessels
  • Cyp1b1
  • Diesel exhaust particles
  • TCDD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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