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Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) assay is a novel bioassay for screening aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-active compounds with diverse toxicities. The TH assay employs reporter genes to evaluate TH promoter activity, which is linked to dopamine synthesis and regulated by the AhR-aryl hydrocarbon receptor responsive element-III (AHRE-III)-mediated pathway. The toxic equivalency factors for higher chlorinated dioxin congeners in the TH assay (TH-TEF) exhibit the same tendency as those for the WHO-TEF, indicating that the activity of the TH assay is consistent with that of existing methods. Furthermore, other chemicals, such as lower chlorinated dioxin congeners that were minimally investigated in the past could be detected preferentially by this assay.


Eiichi Akahoshi, Seiko Yoshimura, Saeko Uruno, Satoshi Itoh, Mitsuko Ishihara-Sugano. Tyrosine hydroxylase assay: a bioassay for aryl hydrocarbon receptor-active compounds based on tyrosine hydroxylase promoter activation. Toxicology mechanisms and methods. 2012 Jul;22(6):458-60

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PMID: 22394336

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