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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Oct;122(4):272-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2010.05.009. Epub 2010 May 27.

Transcriptional activity and biological effects of mammalian estrogen receptor ligands on three hepatic estrogen receptors in Mozambique tilapia.

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  • 1Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, PO Box 1346, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA.


Like other fish species, Mozambique tilapia has three forms of estrogen receptor, ERα, ERβ1, and ERβ2. A primary function of 17β-estradiol (E(2)) in oviparous species is the hepatic induction of the yolk precursor protein, vitellogenin (Vg). To characterize the roles of ERs in Vg production, transactivation assays and an in vivo study were carried out utilizing agonists for mammalian ERα and ERβ, and an antagonist for mammalian ERα, propyl-pyrazole-triol (PPT), diarylpropionitrile (DPN), and methyl-piperidino-pyrazole (MPP), respectively. ERα was more sensitive and responsive to PPT than ERβ1 or ERβ2 in transactivation assays. All ER isoforms indicated equivalent responsiveness to DPN compared with E(2), although sensitivity to DPN was lower. MPP exhibited antagonistic action on transactivation of all ER isoforms and reduced the E(2) effect on Vg and ERα 48h post-injection. DPN increased ERα and Vg expression and plasma Vg post-injection, whereas PPT was without effect; DPN seems to stimulate Vg production through activation of ERα. The ligand binding domain of all tilapia ER forms shares only 60-65% amino acid identity with human ERα and ERβ. This, together with our results, clearly indicates that agonistic or antagonistic characteristics of PPT, DPN and MPP cannot be extrapolated from mammalian to piscine ERs.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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