Dibenzo[def,p]chrysene transplacental carcinogenesis in wild-type, Cyp1b1 knockout, and CYP1B1 humanized mice

Mol Carcinog. 2017 Jan;56(1):163-171. doi: 10.1002/mc.22480. Epub 2016 Mar 17.


The cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1 family is active toward numerous environmental pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Utilizing a mouse model, null for Cyp1b1 and expressing human CYP1B1, we tested the hypothesis that hCYP1B1 is important for dibenzo[def,p]chrysene (DBC) transplacental carcinogenesis. Wild-type mCyp1b1, transgenic hCYP1B1 (mCyp1b1 null background), and mCyp1b1 null mice were assessed. Each litter had an equal number of siblings with Ahrb-1/d and Ahrd/d alleles. Pregnant mice were dosed (gavage) on gestation day 17 with 6.5 or 12 mg/kg of DBC or corn oil. At 10 months of age, mortality, general health, lymphoid disease and lung tumor incidence, and multiplicity were assessed. hCYP1B1 genotype did not impact lung tumor multiplicity, but tended to enhance incidence compared to Cyp1b1 wild-type mice (P = 0.07). As with Cyp1b1 in wild-type mice, constitutive hCYP1B1 protein is non-detectable in liver but was induced with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Wild-type mice were 59% more likely to succumb to T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL). Unlike an earlier examination of the Ahr genotype in this model (Yu et al., Cancer Res, 2006;66:755-762), but in agreement with a more recent study (Shorey et al., Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 2013;270:60-69), this genotype was not associated with lung tumor incidence, multiplicity, or mortality. Sex was not significant with respect to lung tumor incidence or mortality but males exhibited significantly greater multiplicity. Lung tumor incidence was greater in mCyp1b1 nulls compared to wild-type mice. To our knowledge, this is the first application of a humanized mouse model in transplacental carcinogenesis. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: CYP1B1 humanized mice; PAH carcinogenesis; cytochrome P450 1B1; transplacental cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / chemically induced
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics*
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Carcinogens
  • Chrysenes
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1B1 / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Placenta / pathology
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / chemically induced
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / chemically induced
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / pathology


  • Carcinogens
  • Chrysenes
  • dibenzo(b,def)chrysene
  • CYP1B1 protein, human
  • Cyp1b1 protein, mouse
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1B1