• TCDD;
  • EGF receptor down-regulation;
  • activation of protein tyrosine kinase


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), administered to male rats at a single intraperitoneal (IP) injection dose of 25 μg/kg causes down-regulation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor in the plasma membrane of rat liver which starts after two days and continues throughout the experimental period (20 days). Using monoclonal antibody to EGF receptor, it was determined that TCDD-caused EFG receptor down-regulation in the rat liver was accompanied by increased protein kinase activity. Such an increase in the protein kinase activity involves, at least in part, an activation of protein tyrosine kinase. Examination of serum samples from control and treated rats revealed no detectable difference in the level of EGF itself or EGF receptor-reacting substances (eg, hormones and other growth factors). In vivo TCDD caused early eye opening and tooth eruption and poor body weight gain and hair growth in mouse neonates similar to those observed with exogenously administered EGE The results indicate that such EGF receptor–mediated effect of TCDD has some toxocilogical significance in vivo. Although TCDD causes significant reduction in [125I]-EGF binding in the hepatic plasma membrane in susceptible strains of mice, it has only modest effects in tolerant strains. The results are consistent with the idea that the action of TCDD on the EGF receptor is mediated through the cytosoliclnuclear TCDD receptor, which is known to be regulated by the Ah locus.