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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2013 Oct 1;192:115-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.04.033. Epub 2013 May 9.

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

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Canadian Rivers Institute and Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada E2L 4L5.


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.


11-KT; 11-ketotestosterone; 3-phosphoinositide dependent protein kinase-1; AKT1; APOE; APP; AR; Androgens; B-cell CLL/lymphoma 6; BCL2-like 1; BCL2L1; BCL6; BMP2; BMP4; CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), alpha; CD40; CD40 molecule, TNF receptor superfamily member 5; CEBPA; CHAT; CPLA2; CTSK; CYP19a; EGFR; EPCAM; ESR; F2RL1; FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog; FOS; FOS-like antigen 1; FOSL1; FOXO1; Gene set enrichment analysis; HIF1A; HSD11B2; HSD17B1; HSP70; ID2; IGF1; IGF1R; IGF2; IGF2R; IL12B; INS; IRS1; ITGAV; Insulin growth factor; JAK1; JAK2; Janus kinase 1; Janus kinase 2; LOX; MAP2K1; MITF; MMP9; NAMPT; NFKBIA; NOS2; P4; PDPK1; PI3K; PIP3; PLAT; PTGES3B; PTGS2; Phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate; Phospholipase A2; Progestogens; RAC-α serine/threonine-protein kinase; Runt; SNEA; SP1; STAR; STAT1; STAT3; STAT5A; Sp1 transcription factor; Sub-network enrichment analysis; T; TNFR adaptor protein; TNFRAP; TNFRSF11A; TNFRSF11B; TNFSF11; TNFSF18; Tumor necrosis factor; XPR1; amyloid β (A4) precursor protein; androgen receptor; apolipoprotein E; bone morphogenetic protein 2; bone morphogenetic protein 4; cathepsin K; choline O-acetyltransferase; coagulation factor II (thrombin) receptor-like 1; cytochrome P450 aromatase; epidermal growth factor receptor; epithelial cell adhesion molecule; estrogen receptor; forkhead box O1; heat shock protein 70; hydroxysteroid (11-β) dehydrogenase 2; hydroxysteroid (17-β) dehydrogenase 1; hypoxia inducible factor 1, α subunit (basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor); inhibitor of DNA binding 2; insulin; insulin receptor substrate 1; insulin-like growth factor 1 (somatomedin C); insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor; insulin-like growth factor 2 (somatomedin A); insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor; integrin, alpha V (vitronectin receptor, alpha polypeptide, antigen CD51); interleukin 12B (natural killer cell stimulatory factor 2, cytotoxic lymphocyte maturation factor 2, p40); lysyl oxidase; matrix metallopeptidase 9 (gelatinase B, 92kDa gelatinase, 92kDa type IV collagenase); microphthalmia-associated transcription factor; mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1; nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase; nitric oxide synthase 2, inducible; nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate; plasminogen activator, tissue; progesterone; prostaglandin E synthase 3; prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (prostaglandin G/H synthase and cyclooxygenase); signal transducer and activator of transcription 1, 91kDa; signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (acute-phase response factor); signal transducer and activator of transcription 5A; steroidogenic acute regulatory protein; sub-network enrichment analysis; testosterone; tumor necrosis factor (ligand) superfamily, member 11; tumor necrosis factor (ligand) superfamily, member 18; tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 11a, NFKB activator; tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 11b; xenotropic and polytropic retrovirus receptor 1

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