Chloracne and hyperpigmentation caused by exposure to hazardous aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands

Masutaka Furue, Gaku Tsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds are environmental pollutants that are hazardous to human skin. They can be present in contaminated soil, water, and air particles (such as ambient PM2.5). Exposure to a high concentration of dioxins induces chloracne and hyperpigmentation. These chemicals exert their toxic effects by activating the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) which is abundantly expressed in skin cells, such as keratinocytes, sebocytes, and melanocytes. Ligation ofAHR by dioxins induces exaggerated acceleration of epidermal terminal differentiation (keratinization) and converts sebocytes toward keratinocyte differentiation, which results in chloracne formation. AHR activation potently upregulates melanogenesis in melanocytes by upregulating the expression of melanogenic enzymes, which results in hyperpigmentation. Because AHR-mediated oxidative stress contributes to these hazardous effects, antioxidative agents may be potentially therapeutic for chloracne and hyperpigmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4864
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Chloracne and hyperpigmentation caused by exposure to hazardous aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this