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2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) Kills Glucocorticoid-sensitive Thymocytes In Vivo.

D. McConkey, S. Orrenius
Published 1989 · Biology, Medicine

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The effect of in vivo exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on glucocorticoid- and calcium ionophore-induced DNA fragmentation in rat thymocytes was investigated. TCDD dose-dependently abolished DNA fragmentation in response to both agents after 7 days of exposure. Analysis of the time dependence of the effect revealed that after 1 or 2 days TCDD potentiated DNA fragmentation in untreated and glucocorticoid-treated thymocyte suspensions relative to controls. The DNA fragmentation in untreated thymocyte suspensions from TCDD-treated rats was completely prevented by inhibitors that block glucocorticoid-induced thymocyte suicide. Our results suggest that TCDD-induced thymic atrophy is due to Ca2+-dependent endonuclease activation.
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