The effects of in vivo administration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the levels of aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) activity in aromatic hydrocarbon (Ah) responsive and non-responsive strains of mice were studied using the hepatic microsomal fraction. Injection of 3-methylcholanthrene (MC; 42 mg kg body wt.) or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD; 120 μg kg body wt.) into both strains produced marked enhancement of AHH activity except for MC treatment of Ah non-responsive strains. Addition of 7,8-benzoflavone (BNF) to the microsomal AHH assay mixture prepared from mice previously injected with vehicle (olive oil) alone caused an increase in activity when the mice were responsive, while BNF lowered the activity in non-responsive strains. With regard to MC-injected mice, BNF and 3-methyl-sulphonyl-4,5,3',4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (3-MSF-TCB) decreased microsomal AHH activity in Ah-responsive mice, whereas these drugs enhanced the activity in Ah-non-responsive strains. 3-MSF-TCB also had inhibitory potency on AHH activity, but the mechanism of inhibition seems to be somewhat different from that of BNF. It may also suggest that cytochrome P-450 isozymes inhibited by BNF are different from those inhibited by 3-MSF-TCB.
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