Inhibition of Aromatase Induces Partial Sex Change in a Cichlid Fish: Distinct Functions for Sex Steroids in Brains and Gonads

Göppert, Carolin and Harris, Rayna M. and Theis, Anya and Boila, Anna and Hohl, Simon and Rüegg, Attila and Hofmann, Hans A. and Salzburger, Walter and Böhne, Astrid. (2016) Inhibition of Aromatase Induces Partial Sex Change in a Cichlid Fish: Distinct Functions for Sex Steroids in Brains and Gonads. Sexual development : genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology, and pathology of sex determination and differentiation, 10 (2). pp. 97-110.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/52487/

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Sex steroids are major drivers of sexual development and also responsible for the maintenance of the established gender. Especially fishes exhibit great plasticity and less conservation in sex determination and sexual development compared to other vertebrate groups. In addition, fishes have a constant sex steroid production throughout their entire lifespan, which makes them particularly susceptible to interferences with the endogenous sex steroid system. This susceptibility has recently been used to show that inhibition of the key enzyme of estrogen synthesis, aromatase Cyp19a1, can induce functional sex reversal even in adult fish. Here, we investigated the impact of the aromatase inhibitor (AI) fadrozole in adult females of the East African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni. Using gene expression, phenotypic measurements, behavioral experiments, and hormone measurements, we assessed if females treated with fadrozole develop a male-like phenotype. We found that AI treatment has a different effect on gene expression in the gonad compared to the brain, the 2 tissues mostly implicated in sexual development. In contrast to observations in other gonochoristic species, A. burtoni ovaries cannot be transformed into functional testis by AI. However, rapid changes towards a male-like phenotype can be induced with AI in coloration, hormone levels, and behavior.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Salzburger)
UniBasel Contributors:Salzburger, Walter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:28 Jan 2019 09:00
Deposited On:25 Oct 2017 13:12

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