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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Seasonal changes in testicular steroidogenesis in the toad Bufo arenarum H.

The biosynthesis of androgens in Bufo arenarum takes place through the 5-ene pathway that includes 5-androstane-3beta,17beta-diol as intermediate in testosterone biosynthesis. Besides testosterone and 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, testes are able to synthesize 5alpha-pregnan-3,20-dione and several 3alpha- and 20alpha-reduced derivatives. Steroid biosynthesis changes during the breeding period (spring and early summer), turning from androgen to C21 steroid production. During the reproductive season, the production of progesterone, 5alpha-pregnan-3alpha,20alpha-diol, 3alpha-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one, and 5alpha-pregnan-3,20-dione increases significantly. The function of most of these steroids in amphibians remains unknown. However, 5alpha-androstan-3alpha,17beta-diol and 3alpha-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one were shown to be neuroactive in mammals, modulating sexual behavior. Thus, 5alpha/3alpha-reduced steroids could be involved in the regulation of the reproductive behavior in B. arenarum, a species with a dissociated reproductive pattern. Percentage contribution of each enzymes to the total metabolism reveals that neither 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/isomerase nor 5alpha-reductase change throughout the reproductive cycle. However, a strong reduction in 17-hydroxylase-C(17-20) lyase activity occurs in the reproductive season, suggesting that this enzyme could represent a key enzyme in the regulation of the seasonal change of steroidogenesis. Also, 3alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 20-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activities increase during the reproductive period, implying that steroid metabolism is clearly focused on C21-reduced steroids.[1]


  1. Seasonal changes in testicular steroidogenesis in the toad Bufo arenarum H. Canosa, L.F., Ceballos, N.R. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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