Dose-response involvement of constitutive androstane receptor in mouse liver hypertrophy induced by triazole fungicides

Toxicol Lett. 2013 Jul 31;221(1):47-56. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.05.011. Epub 2013 May 27.


To clarify the dose-response relationship between constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) activity and induction of cytochrome P450 2B (CYP2B) expression and hypertrophy by triazole fungicides in mouse liver, three dose levels of cyproconazole (Cypro), tebuconazole (Teb), fluconazole (Flu), and phenobarbital (PB), a typical CYP2B inducer, were administrated in diet to male wild-type (WT) and CAR-knockout (CARKO) mice for one week. In WT mice, all compounds dose-dependently induced liver weight increases and hepatocellular hypertrophy accompanied by CYP2B expression. In CARKO mice, these effects were not induced by PB, while Cypro or Flu induced these effects only at the highest dose. Dose-dependent liver hypertrophy was detected in CARKO mice treated with Teb, but at the lowest dose the intensity was weakened compared to WT mice. The present results indicate that Cypro and Flu mainly induced CAR-mediated liver hypertrophy, while Teb slightly involved CAR. The involvement of CAR in triazole-induced liver hypertrophy was dose-responsive. In addition, all three triazoles have non-CAR-mediated liver hypertrophy pathways, indicating that the hypertrophy induced by these triazoles differs from that of PB.

Keywords: CAR; CYP; Cyp2b; Cypro; Dose–response; Flu; Liver hypertrophy; Mice; PB; Teb; Triazole; constitutive androstane receptor; cyproconazole; cytochrome P450; fluconazole; phenobarbital; tebuconazole.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Fluconazole / toxicity
  • Fungicides, Industrial / toxicity*
  • Hepatomegaly / chemically induced*
  • Hepatomegaly / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phenobarbital / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Triazoles / toxicity*


  • Fungicides, Industrial
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Triazoles
  • tebuconazole
  • constitutive androstane receptor
  • cyproconazole
  • Fluconazole
  • Phenobarbital