Skatole (3-methylindole) is a partial aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist and induces CYP1A1/2 and CYP1B1 expression in primary human hepatocytes
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2016

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Skatole (3-methylindole) is a product of bacterial fermentation of tryptophan in the intestine. A significant amount of skatole can also be inhaled during cigarette smoking. Skatole is a pulmonary toxin that induces the expression of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) regulated genes, such as cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1), in human bronchial cells. The liver has a high metabolic capacity for skatole and is the first organ encountered by the absorbed skatole; however, the effect of skatole in the liver is unknown. Therefore, we investigated the impact of skatole on hepatic AhR activity and AhR-regulated gene expression. Using reporter gene assays, we showed that skatole activates AhR and that this is accompanied by an increase of CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 expression in HepG2-C3 and primary human hepatocytes. Specific AhR antagonists and siRNA-mediated AhR silencing demonstrated that skatole-induced CYP1A1 expression is dependent on AhR activation. The effect of skatole was reduced by blocking intrinsic cytochrome P450 activity and indole-3-carbinole, a known skatole metabolite, was a more potent inducer than skatole. Finally, skatole could reduce TCDD-induced CYP1A1 expression, suggesting that skatole is a partial AhR agonist. In conclusion, our findings suggest that skatole and its metabolites affect liver homeostasis by modulating the AhR pathway.

skatole liver metabolism detoxification CYP


M. K. Rasmussen

Aarhus Universitet

P. Balaguer

CIRAD Centre de Recherche de Montpellier

Bo Ekstrand

Aarhus Universitet

M. Daujat-Chavanieu

Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (Inserm)

S. Gerbal-Chaloin

Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (Inserm)

Université de Montpellier


1932-6203 (ISSN)

Vol. 11 5





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