2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin: A Potent Inducer of δ-Aminolevulinic Acid Synthetase

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Science  02 Feb 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4072, pp. 476-477
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4072.476


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, a toxic contaminant frequently formed during the synthesis of the herbicide 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid, was shown to be a potent inducer of hepatic δ-aminolevulinic acid synthetase in the chick embryo. As little as 4.66 x 10-12 mole of the contaminant per egg produces a significant increase in the activity of the enzyme. Induction of the enzyme is related to the dose of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and, in contrast to that produced with other drugs, is prolonged in time, with 70 percent of the maximum induced activity present 5 days after a single dose. This contaminant is implicated as the likely causative agent in an outbreak of porphyria cutanea tarda in workers in a factory where 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid was being synthesized.

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