The environmental pollutant 3-MeSO(2)-DDE [2-(3-methylsulfonyl-4-chlorophenyl)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethene] is an adrenocortical toxicant in mice, specifically in the glucocorticoid-producing zona fasciculata, due to a cytochrome P450 11B1 (CYP11B1)-catalysed bioactivation and formation of covalently bound protein adducts. o,p'-DDD [2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethane] is toxic and inhibits steroidogenesis in the human adrenal cortex after bioactivation by unidentified CYPs, but does not exert any toxic effects on the mouse adrenal. As a step towards determining in vitro/in vivo relationships for the CYP-catalysed binding and toxicity of 3-MeSO(2)-DDE and o,p'-DDD, we have investigated the irreversible protein binding of these two toxicants in the murine adrenocortical cell line Y-1. The irreversible binding of 3-MeSO(2)-DDE previously demonstrated in vivo was successfully reproduced and could be inhibited by the CYP-inhibitors etomidate, ketoconazole and metyrapone. Surprisingly, o,p'-DDD reached similar levels of binding as 3-MeSO(2)-DDE. The binding of o,p'-DDD was sensitive to etomidate and ketoconazole, but not to metyrapone. Moreover, GSH depletion increased the binding of 3-MeSO(2)-DDE, but not of o,p'-DDD, indicating an important role of GSH conjugation in the detoxification of the 3-MeSO(2)-DDE-derived reactive metabolite. In addition, the specificity of CYP11B1 in activating 3-MeSO(2)-DDE was investigated using structurally analogous compounds. None of the analogues produced histopathological lesions in the mouse adrenal in vivo following a single i.p. injection of 100 mg/kg body weight, but two of the compounds were able to decrease the irreversible binding of 3-MeSO(2)-DDE to Y-1 cells. These results indicate that the bioactivation of 3-MeSO(2)-DDE by CYP11B1 is highly structure-dependent. In conclusion, both 3-MeSO(2)-DDE and o,p'-DDD bind irreversibly to Y-1 cells despite differences in binding and adrenotoxicity in mice in vivo. This reveals a notable in vitro/in vivo discrepancy, the contributing factors of which remain unexplained. We consider the Y-1 cell line as appropriate for studies of the cellular mechanisms behind the adrenocortical toxicity of these substances.
2007. Vol. 81, no 11, 793-801 p.