Dibenzo[def,p]chrysene (DBC) suppresses antibody formation in spleen cells following oral exposures of mice.
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Dibenzo[def,p]chrysene (DBC) is a potent environmental carcinogen in rodents, fish, and human cells examined in culture. There are numerous similarities between the patterns of cytochrome P-450 (P450) activation of DBC and its covalent binding to DNA and proteins with another polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA). Our lab has previously shown that DMBA produces immunosuppression in rodents and human cell systems. Therefore, the purpose of these studies was to examine the immunotoxicity of DBC in a rodent model that was found to be sensitive to the immunosuppressive effects of DMBA. Data showed that DBC had similar potency to DMBA in producing suppression of a T-dependent antibody response (TDAR) and altered spleen cell subsets in a similar manner as DMBA when DMBA was given by gavage for 5 d in corn oil to mice at doses of 1-100 mg/kg total cumulative doses. T-cell-independent antigen (TNP-Ficoll) responses were quantitatively less sensitive to DBC suppression. It was also found that as with DMBA, DBC produced a persistent immunosuppression, which lasted for at least 4 wk following dosing with a novel pill method for self-administration of DBC. In conclusion, DBC appears to possess many of the same characteristics of DMBA in terms of its immunotoxicity.