Aryl hydrocarbon receptor and dioxin-related health hazards—lessons from yusho

Masutaka Furue, Yuji Ishii, Kiyomi Tsukimori, Gaku Tsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Poisoning by high concentrations of dioxin and its related compounds manifests variable toxic symptoms such as general malaise, chloracne, hyperpigmentation, sputum and cough, pares-thesia or numbness of the extremities, hypertriglyceridemia, perinatal abnormalities, and elevated risks of cancer-related mortality. Such health hazards are observed in patients with Yusho (oil disease in Japanese) who had consumed rice bran oil highly contaminated with 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlo-rodibenzofuran, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polychlorinated quaterphenyls in 1968. The blood concentrations of these congeners in patients with Yusho remain extremely elevated 50 years after onset. Dioxins exert their toxicity via aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this review article, we discuss the pathogenic implication of AHR in dioxin-induced health hazards. We also mention the potential therapeutic use of herbal drugs targeting AHR and ROS in patients with Yusho.

Original languageEnglish
Article number708
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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