Hormonal regulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase mRNA levels and transcriptional activity in primary rat hepatocyte cultures

Hylemon, P.B.; Gurley, E.C.; Stravitz, R.T.; Litz, J.S.; Pandak, W.M.; Chiang, J.Y.; Vlahcevic, Z.R.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 267(24): 16866-16871


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 1512229
Accession: 040300427

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In primary cultures of adult rat hepatocytes the level of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase steady-state mRNA markedly decreased by 72 h. However, the addition of L-thyroxine (T4) and dexamethasone synergistically returned cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase steady-state mRNA levels near to that of cholestyramine-fed animals. The maximal responses to T4 and dexamethasone in serum-free medium were at 1.0 and 0.1 microM, respectively. The addition of T4 in combination with dexamethasone resulted in an 11-fold increase in transcriptional activity of the cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase gene as compared to no addition controls. The specific activities of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase in microsomes prepared from cultures treated with dexamethasone and T4 were 1.56 +/- 1.17 nmol/h/mg protein which is similar to that of intact liver (1.70 +/- 0.062 nmol/h/mg protein), but lower than cholestyramine-fed animals. Cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity was not detectable (less than 0.020 nmol/h/mg protein) at 72 h in cultures without the addition of both dexamethasone and T4. In the presence of optimal concentrations of dexamethasone and T4, glucagon (0.2 microM), or dibutyryl cAMP (50 microM) decreased (90%) cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase mRNA within 6 h. Transcriptional activity decreased (62%) in 6 h following the addition of glucagon (0.2 microM) to the culture medium. The results reported in this paper suggest an important role for multiple hormones in the regulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase in the liver.