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

Relationships between aromatase and estrogen receptors in the brain of teleost fish.

Teleost fish are known for exhibiting a high aromatase activity mainly due to the expression of the cyp19b gene, encoding aromatase B (AroB). Recent studies based on both in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry have demonstrated in three different species that this activity is restricted to radial glial cells. In agreement with measurements of aromatase activity, such aromatase-expressing cells are more abundant in the telencephalon, preoptic area, and mediobasal hypothalamus, although positive cells are also found in the midbrain and hindbrain. Comparative distribution of AroB and estrogen receptor (ERalpha, ERbeta1, and ERbeta2) expression indicates that the preoptic region and hypothalamus are major target for locally produced estradiol (E2) which is likely involved in controlling expression of genes implicated in neuroendocrine regulations. However, AroB and ER have never been reported to be co-expressed in the same cells which is intriguing given that, at least in some species, AroB is strongly up-regulated by E2 itself in agreement with the presence of an estrogen-responsive element (ERE) in the proximal promoter of the cyp19b gene. In vivo data in zebrafish have shown that E2 up-regulates AroB only in radial glial cells. This is in agreement with in vitro transfection experiments indicating that this ERE is functional, but not sufficient, as the E2 regulation of AroB only occurs in glial cell contexts, suggesting a cooperation between ER and so far unidentified glial-specific factors. These data also suggest that radial glial cells may express low amounts of ER that escaped detection until now. The expression of AroB in radial cells, well known for their roles in neurogenesis and now considered as progenitor cells, suggests that local E2 production within these cells could influence the well-documented capacity of the brain of teleosts to grow during adulthood.[1]


  1. Relationships between aromatase and estrogen receptors in the brain of teleost fish. Pellegrini, E., Menuet, A., Lethimonier, C., Adrio, F., Gueguen, M.M., Tascon, C., Anglade, I., Pakdel, F., Kah, O. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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