Fetal exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin induces expression of the chemokine genes Cxcl4 and Cxcl7 in the perinatal mouse brain

J Appl Toxicol. 2011 Apr;31(3):279-84. doi: 10.1002/jat.1612. Epub 2011 Feb 3.


Fetal exposure to dioxins affects brain development and influences behaviors in human and laboratory animals. However, the cellular target and mechanisms of the neurotoxic action of dioxins are largely unknown. To investigate the molecular basis for the neurotoxicity of dioxins, pregnant C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 5 µg kg(-1) body weight of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) by a single gavage on gestational day 12.5 (GD 12.5), and gene expression of the whole fetal brain at GD 18.5 was profiled by DNA microarray analysis. The analysis revealed that the expression of two chemokine genes, Cxcl4 and Cxcl7, was up-regulated by TCDD exposure. Real-time PCR analysis verified that they were up-regulated by TCDD in both male and female brains, while the mRNA levels of a majority of other chemokines and their receptor genes were not affected. The up-regulation was TCDD dose-dependent and peaked at GD 15.5-18.5. In situ hybridization analysis showed that the Cxcl4 mRNA expression was localized in part of the surface of cerebral cortex and that the level was increased by TCDD treatment. These results suggest that Cxcl4 and Cxcl7 play a role in the development of neurobehavioral alterations that are triggered by in utero TCDD exposure and later surface in adults.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Chemokines, CXC / genetics*
  • Chemokines, CXC / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Embryo, Mammalian / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fetus / drug effects
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Platelet Factor 4 / genetics*
  • Platelet Factor 4 / metabolism
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / administration & dosage
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / toxicity*
  • Pregnancy
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Teratogens / toxicity*
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Cxcl7 protein, mouse
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Teratogens
  • Platelet Factor 4