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Masculinization of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) by treatment with an androgen or aromatase inhibitor involves different gene expression and has distinct lasting effects on maturation

AuthorsNavarro-Martín, Laia ; Blázquez, Mercedes ; Piferrer, Francesc
Aromatase inhibitor
Cyproterone acetate
Sex differentiation
Androgen receptor
Sea bass
Dicentrarchus labrax
Issue Date1-Jan-2009
CitationGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology 160(1): 3-11 (2009)
AbstractThe objective of this study was to contribute to our understanding of the role of sex steroids in fish sex differentiation and male maturation. Sexually undifferentiated sea bass were administered 17α-methyldihydrotestosterone (MDHT), estradiol-17β (E2), fadrozole (Fz), cyproterone acetate (CPA) or tamoxifen (Tx). MDHT produced 100% males whereas E2 and Tx resulted in 100% females. Fz produced 95% males while CPA did not alter sex ratios. E2 treatment did not affect gonadal aromatase (cyp19a) expression levels, supporting the possibility that the feminizing effect of exogenous E2 are not directly related to cyp19a regulation. Both MDHT and Fz decreased cyp19a expression. Moreover, androgen receptor (ar) expression levels increased during development in all but the MDHT group, suggesting that early exposure to an androgen down-regulates subsequent ar expression in males and that Fz does not interact with the androgen receptor. Together, these observations indicate that although MDHT and Fz result in a similar phenotype, the molecular pathways involved are likely different, and show that Fz masculinization is the consequence of inhibited ovarian differentiation rather than of a direct androgenic effect. Further, since CPA did not alter sex ratios when administered during the period of highest androgen sensitivity, we suggest that androgens are not required for initial testicular differentiation in the sea bass. MDHT and Fz did not alter the number of precocious males but reduced and increased, respectively, their gonadosomatic index (GSI). In addition, Fz had lasting effects on the GSI of precocious and non-precocious males, probably due to alterations of estrogen function in the testis
Description9 pages, 6 figures.-- PMID: 18983844 [PubMed].-- Available online Oct 18, 2008.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2008.10.012
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