Transcriptomic profiling of progesterone in the male fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) testis

Yasmin Z Chishti, April Feswick, Kelly R Munkittrick, Christopher J Martyniuk
General and Comparative Endocrinology 2013 October 1, 192: 115-25
P4 is a hormone with diverse functions that include roles in reproduction, growth, and development. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of P4 on androgen production in the mature teleost testis and to identify molecular signaling cascades regulated by P4 to improve understanding of its role in male reproduction. Fathead minnow (FHM) testis explants were treated in vitro with two concentrations of P4 (10(-8) and 10(-6) M) for 6 and 12 h. P4 significantly increased testosterone (T) production in the FHM testis but did not affect 11-ketotestosterone. Gene network analysis revealed that insulin growth factor (Igf1) and tumor necrosis factor receptor (Tnfr) signaling was significantly depressed with P4 treatment after 12h. There was also a 20% increase in a gene network for follicle-stimulating hormone secretion and an 18% decrease in genes involved in vasopressin signaling. Genes in steroid metabolism (e.g. star, cyp19a, 11bhsd) were not significantly affected by P4 treatments in this study, and it is hypothesized that pre-existing molecular machinery may be more involved in the increased production of T rather than the de novo expression of steroid-related transcripts and receptors. There was a significant decrease in prostaglandin E synthase 3b (cytosolic) (ptges3b) after treatment with P4, suggesting that there is cross talk between P4 and prostaglandin pathways in the reproductive testis. P4 has a role in regulating steroid production in the male testis and may do so by modulating gene networks related to endocrine pathways, such as Igf1, Tnfr, and vasopressin.

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