Doskey CM, Fader KA, Nault R, Lydic T, Matthews J, Potter D, Sharratt B, Williams K, Zacharewski T
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a potent aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonist that elicits a broad spectrum of dose-dependent hepatic effects including lipid accumulation, inflammation, and fibrosis. To determine the role of inflammatory lipid mediators in TCDD-mediated hepatotoxicity, eicosanoid metabolism was investigated. Female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were orally gavaged with sesame oil vehicle or 0.01-10 μg/kg TCDD every 4 days for 28 days. Hepatic RNA-Seq data was integrated with untargeted metabolomics of liver, serum, and urine, revealing dose-dependent changes in linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism. TCDD also elicited dose-dependent differential gene expression associated with the cyclooxygenase, lipoxygenase, and cytochrome P450 epoxidation/hydroxylation pathways with corresponding changes in ω-6 (e.g. AA and LA) and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as well as associated eicosanoid metabolites. Overall, TCDD increased the ratio of ω-6 to ω-3 PUFAs. Phospholipase A2 (Pla2g12a) was induced consistent with increased AA metabolism, while AA utilization by induced lipoxygenases Alox5 and Alox15 increased leukotrienes (LTs). More specifically, TCDD increased pro-inflammatory eicosanoids including leukotriene LTB, and LTB, known to recruit neutrophils to damaged tissue. Dose-response modeling suggests the cytochrome P450 hydroxylase/epoxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways are more sensitive to TCDD than the cyclooxygenase pathway. Hepatic AhR ChIP-Seq analysis found little enrichment within the regulatory regions of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in eicosanoid biosynthesis, suggesting TCDD-elicited dysregulation of eicosanoid metabolism is a downstream effect of AhR activation. Overall, these results suggest alterations in eicosanoid metabolism may play a key role in TCDD-elicited hepatotoxicity associated with the progression of steatosis to steatohepatitis.