2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin does not directly alter the phenotype of maturing B cells in a murine coculture system

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2002 May 1;180(3):164-77. doi: 10.1006/taap.2002.9396.


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), acting through the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), elicits numerous toxicological effects, including immunosuppression. Previous work from our laboratory has suggested that TCDD exposure in mice is associated with altered lymphopoietic development, in particular altered B-cell phenotype in the bone marrow. It remains to be determined which specific hematopoietic populations or subpopulations within the marrow cavity are directly targeted by TCDD. To examine the effects of TCDD on developing B cells in vitro, a stromal coculture model was used. Primary bone marrow cells from male, 6- to 7-week-old C57Bl/6 mice were cocultured separately on two AhR-containing stromal cell lines (M2-10B4 and S17) that support B-cell development in the presence of IL-7. The cocultures were treated with 0 to 10 nM TCDD. Shifts in phenotype were quantified by cell surface marker staining and flow cytometry. Four populations in the maturing B cell (very early pre-pro-B, pre-pro-B, pro-B, and pre-B) were defined for quantification. The results show that the only statistically significant effect of TCDD was within the pre-pro-B population in cultures with the S17 stromal cell line. The increase in number of cells with this phenotype was seen in cultures with both wild-type and AhR-/- primary bone marrow cells. These results suggest that the maturing B220+ B cell is not the direct target for TCDD-induced bone marrow B-cell alterations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Growth / drug effects
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phenotype
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / toxicity*
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / drug effects*


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon