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Beyond toxicity: aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated functions in the immune system

Authors
Publisher
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Volume
8
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/jbiol170
Keywords
  • Opinion
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor is a ligand-activated transcriptional regulator that binds dioxin and other exogenous contaminants and is responsible for their toxic effects, including immunosuppression. New evidence suggests, however, that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor has a physiological role in the immune system, and the immunosuppressive effects of dioxin may reflect a more subtle disruption of the regulatory interactions between immune cells.

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