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

Temporal evaluation of effects of a model 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibitor on endocrine function in the fathead minnow.

Inhibition of enzymes involved in the synthesis of sex steroids can substantially impact developmental and reproductive processes controlled by the hypothalmic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. A key steroidogenic enzyme that has received little attention from a toxicological perspective is 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD). In these studies, we exposed reproductively-active fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to the model 3β-HSD inhibitor trilostane at two test concentrations (300 and 1,500 µg/L) over a 16-d period that included both 8-d exposure and 8-d recovery phases. Plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2) in females were depressed within hours of exposure to the drug and remained decreased at the highest trilostane concentration throughout the 8-d exposure. Reductions in E2 were accompanied by decreases in plasma concentrations of the estrogen-responsive protein vitellogenin (VTG). During the recovery phase of the test, plasma E2 and VTG concentrations returned to levels comparable to those of controls, in the case of E2 within 1 d. Up-regulation of ovarian expression of gene products for follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (fshr) and aromatase (cyp19a1a) suggested active compensation in trilostane-exposed animals. Effects of trilostane on HPG-related endpoints in exposed males were less pronounced, although, as in females, up-regulation of gonadal fshr was seen. Data from these time-course studies provide insights as to direct impacts, compensatory responses, and recovery from effects associated with perturbation of a comparatively poorly characterized enzyme/pathway critical to sex steroid synthesis. This information is important to the design and interpretation of approaches for assessing the occurrence and effects of HPG-active chemicals in both the laboratory and the field. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011;30:2094-2102. © 2011 SETAC.[1]


  1. Temporal evaluation of effects of a model 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibitor on endocrine function in the fathead minnow. Ankley, G.T., Cavallin, J.E., Durhan, E.J., Jensen, K.M., Kahl, M.D., Makynen, E.A., Martinovic-Weigelt, D., Wehmas, L.C., Villeneuve, D.L. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. (2011) [Pubmed]
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