Estradiol (E2) production by human luteinized granulosa cells (hLGC) is inhibited by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The molecular target of TCDD toxicity has not been identified. The decrease in E2 is ameliorated by androgen substrate addition and is not associated with changes in aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450arom) activity or protein expression. An antihuman 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase cytochrome P450 (P450c17) antisera and a direct radiometric assay of 17,20-lyase activity were used to test the hypothesis that TCDD targets P450c17, thereby decreasing substrate availability for E2 synthesis by hLGC. P450c17 expression and 17,20-lyase activity were detected in hLGC with high levels of E2 secretion. Western immunoblot analysis demonstrated that TCDD treatment of hLGC decreased the expression of P450c17 by as much 50% (P < 0.05). TCDD exposure induced a 65% decrease in 17,20-lyase activity (P < 0.05), but no changes were seen in P450arom or in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced)-cytochrome P450 oxido-reductase (reductase). Furthermore, the decreases in P450c17 and 17,20-lyase were proportional to the inhibition of E2 secretion. We conclude that the molecular target for endocrine disruption of hLGC by TCDD is P450c17, specifically decreasing the supply of androgens for E2 synthesis, and that it does not involve either P450arom or the redox partner protein reductase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism