Correlation between toxicity and effects on intermediary metabolism in 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-treated male C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice
Male mice were treated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) by gavage. C57BL/6J (C57) mice received 0.03 to 235 micrograms/kg, DBA/2J (DBA) mice 1 to 3295 micrograms/kg. On Day 8 after dosing blood was collected, and livers and kidneys were removed. Body weights and feed intake were not much affected until Day 8 after exposure. Hepatomegaly developed at doses above 3 and 97.5 micrograms/kg in C57 and DBA mice, respectively. Ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity was induced in liver with an ED50 of 1.1 and 16 micrograms/kg and in kidney with an ED50 of 65 and 380 micrograms/kg in C57 and DBA mice, respectively. The activity of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) in livers of both mouse strains was reduced over the entire dose range, displaying a plateau in the dose response at the onset of acute toxicity of TCDD. This enzyme activity was decreased by as much as 80% at the respective lethal doses. PEPCK activity in kidney was not affected. Glucose-6-phosphatase activity (G-6-Pase) in liver was altered only in the lethal dose range with a maximum reduction of about 50%. Serum glucose concentration was reduced over the entire dose range, but the reduction was significant only at doses in which G-6-Pase activity was affected, reaching levels as low as 3 mmol/liter in DBA mice. Tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase activity was not lowered at any dose of TCDD in either mouse strain, and no increase in serum tryptophan levels was observed. Serum levels of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) were dose dependently decreased over most of the dose range administered, with T3 levels exactly paralleling T4 levels in both mouse strains. It is concluded that TCDD causes acute toxicity in male C57 and DBA mice by a severe reduction of gluconeogenesis, but, in contrast to rats, it does not affect tryptophan homeostasis. Following administration of TCDD serum T3 levels in the mouse appear to correlate with T4 levels, whereas in the rat they are independent of each other.