Cytochrome P4501A1 Is Required for Vascular Dysfunction and Hypertension Induced by 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin

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National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data show an association between hypertension and exposure to dioxin-like halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (HAHs). Furthermore, chronic exposure of mice to the prototypical HAH, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), induces reactive oxygen species (ROS), endothelial dysfunction, and hypertension. Because TCDD induces cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1) and CYP1A1 can increase ROS, we tested the hypothesis that TCDD-induced endothelial dysfunction and hypertension are mediated by CYP1A1. CYP1A1 wild-type (WT) and knockout (KO) mice were fed one control or TCDD-containing pill (180 ng TCDD/kg, 5 days/week) for 35 days (n = 10–14/genotype/treatment). Blood pressure was monitored by radiotelemetry, and liver TCDD concentration, CYP1A1 induction, ROS, and aortic reactivity were measured at 35 days. TCDD accumulated to similar levels in livers of both genotypes. TCDD induced CYP1A1 in endothelium of aorta and mesentery without detectable expression in the vessel wall. TCDD also induced superoxide anion production, measured by NADPH-dependent lucigenin luminescence, in aorta, heart, and kidney of CYP1A1 WT mice but not KO mice. In contrast, TCDD induced hydrogen peroxide, measured by amplex red assay, to similar levels in aorta of CYP1A1 WT and KO mice but not in heart or kidney. TCDD reduced acetylcholine-dependent vasorelaxation in aortic rings of CYP1A1 WT mice but not in KO mice. Finally, TCDD steadily increased blood pressure after 15 days, which plateaued after 25 days (+20 mmHg) in CYP1A1 WT mice but failed to alter blood pressure in KO mice. These results demonstrate that CYP1A1 is required for TCDD-induced cardiovascular superoxide anion production, endothelial dysfunction, and hypertension.