Regulation of phenobarbital-inducible cytochrome P-450s in rat and mouse liver following dexamethasone administration and hypophysectomy

R R Meehan, L M Forrester, K Stevenson, N D Hastie, A Buchmann, H W Kunz, C R Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cytochrome P-450s are a superfamily of haem-containing proteins involved in the metabolism of foreign compounds, as well as a variety of endogenous molecules. The hepatic levels and function of this diverse group of enzymes are determined by both constitutive and xenobiotic regulators. To examine the role of constitutive factors in cytochrome P-450 regulation, the levels of three distinct groups of phenobarbital-inducible hepatic cytochrome P-450s were studied following dexamethasone-treatment or hypophysectomy. In the mouse, dexamethasone was a potent inducer of proteins within the PB1 (subfamily IIC), PB2c (family III) and PB3 (subfamily IIB) families. These findings were strikingly different from the effects in the rat where essentially no effect on PB3 expression and indeed suppression of proteins related to PB1 was observed. Determination of mRNA concentration indicated that the difference was at the level of transcription. These findings indicate that synthetic glucocorticoids have the potential to be potent phenobarbital-like inducing agents. In the mouse hypophysectomy, like dexamethasone, induced hepatic mRNA of P-450 from families P-450IIB, P-450IIC and P-450III. Again a species difference was observed as this treatment had essentially no effect in the rat. These data in the mouse indicate that factors produced in the pituitary can either affect the transcription rate of phenobarbital and dexamethasone-inducible P-450 genes or influence the stability of their mRNAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-97
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 1988


  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Dexamethasone
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hypophysectomy
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Isoenzymes
  • Mice
  • Microsomes, Liver
  • Oxazines
  • Oxygenases
  • Phenobarbital
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


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