JOURNAL ARTICLE

Transcriptional regulatory dynamics of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and its peripheral pathways as impacted by the 3-beta HSD inhibitor trilostane in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Rong-Lin Wang, David Bencic, Jim Lazorchak, Daniel Villeneuve, Gerald T Ankley
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 2011, 74 (6): 1461-70
21570121
To study mechanisms underlying generalized effects of 3β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B) inhibition, reproductively mature zebrafish (Danio rerio) were exposed to trilostane at two dosages for 24, 48, or 96 h and their gonadal RNA samples profiled with Agilent zebrafish microarrays. Trilostane had substantial impact on the transcriptional dynamics of zebrafish, as reflected by a number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) including transcription factors (TFs), altered TF networks, signaling pathways, and Gene Ontology (GO) biological processes. Changes in gene expression between a treatment and its control were mostly moderate, ranging from 1.3 to 2.0 fold. Expression of genes coding for HSD3B and many of its transcriptional regulators remained unchanged, suggesting transcriptional up-regulation is not a primary compensatory mechanism for HSD3B enzyme inhibition. While some trilostane-responsive TFs appear to share cellular functions linked to endocrine disruption, there are also many other DEGs not directly linked to steroidogenesis. Of the 65 significant TF networks, little similarity, and therefore little cross-talk, existed between them and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. The most enriched GO biological processes are regulations of transcription, phosphorylation, and protein kinase activity. Most of the impacted TFs and TF networks are involved in cellular proliferation, differentiation, migration, and apoptosis. While these functions are fairly broad, their underlying TF networks may be useful to development of generalized toxicological screening methods. These findings suggest that trilostane-induced effects on fish endocrine functions are not confined to the HPG-axis alone. Its impact on corticosteroid synthesis could also have contributed to some system wide transcriptional changes in zebrafish observed in this study.

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