DBA/2J male mice are more sensitive to the 10-day lethal effect of chloroform (CHCl3) than are C57BL/6J males, whereas B6D2F1/J mice are intermediate. This relative order of sensitivity is preserved following sublethal doses of CHCl3 in regard to radiolabel accumulation into subcellular biochemical fractions and renal, but not hepatic, dysfunction. Kidneys from mice of all three genotypes are able to repair tubular damage from CHCl3. Thus genotypic differences in response to the toxic effects of CHCl3 are manifestations of differences in renal, rather than hepatic, responses or the ability to repair renal damage. Prior to toxic exposure to chloroform covalent binding of 14CHCl3 to renal microsomes was greater in DBA than in C57BL mice. Phenobarbital pretreatment enhanced covalent binding by renal microsomes from DBA, but not from C57BL mice. Testosterone sensitizes kidneys of both male and female DBA/2J and C57BL/6J mice in a dose-dependent fashion to the toxic effects of CHCl3. The androgenic progestin, medroxyprogesterone acetate, invokes similar responses. These effects are probably mediated in the kidneys by the androgen receptor. Progesterone and hydrocortisone sensitize kidneys to CHCl3 in DBA/2J males, but not in females, nor in C57BL/6J mice of either sex.
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