Co-exposure to an Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Endogenous Ligand, 6-Formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ), and Cadmium Induces Cardiovascular Developmental Abnormalities in Mice.


Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. [Email]


6-Formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) is a signal substance and an endogenous activator of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Cadmium (Cd) is an environmental pollutant that can activate both AHR and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. We aimed to determine how dysregulated signaling through AHR-Wnt/β-catenin cross-talk can influence mice heart development. Mice fetuses were exposed to Cd alone or in combination with FICZ in gestation day (GD) 0. In GD18, fetuses were harvested and randomly divided into two parts for stereological and molecular studies. Stereological and tessellation results revealed that when fetuses were co-exposed with FICZ and Cd, abnormalities were synergistically raised. In the presence of FICZ, mRNA expression levels of Wnt/β-catenin target genes significantly enhanced, especially when animals co-treated with FICZ and Cd. Based on these findings, we propose that chemical pollutants can interfere with the normal function of AHR that has a physiological role in regulating Wnt/β-catenin during cardiogenesis.


Aryl hydrocarbon receptor,Cadmium,Cardiogenesis,FICZ,Wnt/β-catenin,

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