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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2011 Feb;123(3-5):115-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2010.11.015. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

Estrogen receptors in medaka (Oryzias latipes) and estrogenic environmental contaminants: an in vitro-in vivo correlation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


In many vertebrates, estrogens are necessary to promote the growth and differentiation of the female reproductive system during development, and have important reproductive roles in both males and females. Medaka (Oryzias latipes) has three estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes, ERα, ERβ1 and ERβ2. To evaluate the three medaka ER (mER)-ligand interactions, we applied the ERE-luciferase reporter assay system to characterize each ER subtype. In this transient transfection assay system using mammalian cells, the mER proteins displayed estrogen-dependent activation. 17β-Estradiol (E(2)) and op'-DDT showed high activation irrespective of ERs. Endosulfan also exhibited activation; with less/no transactivity measured using other pesticides, i.e., heptachlor, carbendazim, deltamethrin, acephate, dimethoate and amitraz. It was generally observed that ERβ2 had higher activation potential than ERα and ERβ1. To understand the molecular mechanism of estrogen action via ER, we also conducted E(2) treatment where we observed a trigger in ERβ2 expression upon E(2) exposure. The present data suggest that ERβ2 is essential for female gonad maintenance. The data were supported by induction of vitellogenin (VTG) mRNA in the liver and reduced VTG receptor mRNA expression in the gonad of both sexes. The present work will provide a basic tool allowing future studies to examine the receptor-ligand interactions and endocrine disrupting mechanisms, and also expands our knowledge of estrogen action on reproductive development in medaka.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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