Disruption of apoptosis pathways involved in zebrafish gonad differentiation by 17α-ethinylestradiol and fadrozole exposures

Luzio, A., Matos, M., Santos, D., Fontaínhas-Fernandes, A.A., Monteiro, S.M., Coimbra, A.M.
Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)   177: 269-284 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Aromatase inhibitor, BCL-2, BIRC5, CASP-6, Immunohistochemistry, Xenoestrogen, qRT-PCR
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis/drug effects*
  • Endocrine Disruptors/toxicity*
  • Ethinyl Estradiol/toxicity*
  • Fadrozole/toxicity*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Ovary/drug effects
  • Random Allocation
  • Sex Differentiation/drug effects*
  • Sex Differentiation/physiology
  • Testis/drug effects
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical/toxicity*
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
27337697 Full text @ Aquat. Toxicol.
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) sex determination seems to involve genetic factors (GSD) but also environmental factors (ESD), such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that are known to mimic endogenous hormones and disrupt gonad differentiation. Apoptosis has also been proposed to play a crucial role in zebrafish gonad differentiation. Nevertheless, the interactions between EDCs and apoptosis have received little attention. Thus, this study aimed to assess if and which apoptotic pathways are involved in zebrafish gonad differentiation and how EDCs may interfere with this process. With these purposes, zebrafish were exposed to 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2, 4ng/L) and fadrozole (Fad, 50μg/L) from 2h to 35days post-fertilization (dpf). Afterwards, a gene expression analysis by qRT-PCR and a stereological analysis, based on systematic sampling and protein immunohistochemistry, were performed. The death receptors (FAS; TRADD), anti-apoptotic (BCL-2; MDM2), pro-apoptotic (CASP-2 and -6) and cell proliferation (BIRC5/survivin; JUN) genes and proteins were evaluated. In general, apoptosis was inhibited in females through the involvement of anti-apoptotic pathways, while in males apoptosis seemed to be crucial to the failure of the "juvenile ovary" development and the induction of testes transformation. The JUN protein was shown to be necessary in juvenile ovaries, while the BIRC5 protein seemed to be involved in zebrafish spermatogenesis. Both EDCs, EE2 and Fad, increased the apoptosis stimulus in zebrafish gonad. It was noticed that the few females that were resistant to Fad-induced sex reversal had increased anti-apoptotic factor levels, while males exposed to EE2 showed increased pro-apoptotic genes/proteins and were more advanced in gonad differentiation. Overall, our findings show that apoptosis pathways are involved in zebrafish gonad differentiation and that EDCs can disrupt this process.
Genes / Markers
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes