The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) mediates intestinal barrier homeostasis. Many AHR ligands are also CYP1A1/1B1 substrates, which can result in rapid clearance within the intestinal tract, limiting systemic exposure and subsequent AHR activation. This led us to the hypothesis that there are dietary substrates of CYP1A1/1B1 that functionally increase the half-life of potent AHR ligands. We examined the potential of urolithin A (UroA), a gut bacterial metabolite of ellagitannins, as a CYP1A1/1B1 substrate to enhance AHR activity in vivo. UroA is a competitive substrate for CYP1A1/1B1 in an in vitro competition assay. A broccoli-containing diet promotes the gastric formation of the potent hydrophobic AHR ligand and CYP1A1/1B1 substrate, 5,11-dihydroindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (ICZ). In mice, dietary exposure to UroA in a 10% broccoli diet led to a coordinated increase in duodenal, cardiac, and pulmonary AHR activity, but no increase in activity in the liver. Thus, CYP1A1 dietary competitive substrates can lead to enhanced systemic AHR ligand distribution from the gut, likely through the lymphatic system, increasing AHR activation in key barrier tissues. Finally, this report will lead to a reassessment of the dynamics of distribution of other hydrophobic chemicals present in the diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e23010
JournalFASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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