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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2020 Jan 15;286:113325. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2019.113325. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Twenty years of transcriptomics, 17alpha-ethinylestradiol, and fish.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; Center for Environmental & Human Toxicology, Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; University of Florida Genetics Institute, USA; Canadian Rivers Institute, Canada. Electronic address: cmartyn@ufl.edu.
2
Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; Canadian Rivers Institute, Canada.
3
Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada; Canadian Rivers Institute, Canada.
4
Center for Environmental & Human Toxicology, Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, Greensboro, NC, USA.
5
Center for Environmental & Human Toxicology, Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; University of Florida Genetics Institute, USA.

Abstract

In aquatic toxicology, perhaps no pharmaceutical has been investigated more intensely than 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2), the active ingredient of the birth control pill. At the turn of the century, the fields of comparative endocrinology and endocrine disruption research witnessed the emergence of omics technologies, which were rapidly adapted to characterize potential hazards associated with exposures to environmental estrogens, such as EE2. Since then, significant advances have been made by the scientific community, and as a result, much has been learned about estrogen receptor signaling in fish from environmental xenoestrogens. Vitellogenin, the egg yolk precursor protein, was identified as a major estrogen-responsive gene, establishing itself as the premier biomarker for estrogenic exposures. Omics studies have identified a plethora of estrogen responsive genes, contributing to a wealth of knowledge on estrogen-mediated regulatory networks in teleosts. There have been ~40 studies that report on transcriptome responses to EE2 in a variety of fish species (e.g., zebrafish, fathead minnows, rainbow trout, pipefish, mummichog, stickleback, cod, and others). Data on the liver and testis transcriptomes dominate in the literature and have been the subject of many EE2 studies, yet there remain knowledge gaps for other tissues, such as the spleen, kidney, and pituitary. Inter-laboratory genomics studies have revealed transcriptional networks altered by EE2 treatment in the liver; networks related to amino acid activation and protein folding are increased by EE2 while those related to xenobiotic metabolism, immune system, circulation, and triglyceride storage are suppressed. EE2-responsive networks in other tissues are not as comprehensively defined which is a knowledge gap as regulated networks are expected to be tissue-specific. On the horizon, omics studies for estrogen-mediated effects in fish include: (1) Establishing conceptual frameworks for incorporating estrogen-responsive networks into environmental monitoring programs; (2) Leveraging in vitro and computational toxicology approaches to identify chemicals associated with estrogen receptor-mediated effects in fish (e.g., male vitellogenin production); (3) Discovering new tissue-specific estrogen receptor signaling pathways in fish; and (4) Developing quantitative adverse outcome pathway predictive models for estrogen signaling. As we look ahead, research into EE2 over the past several decades can serve as a template for the array of hormones and endocrine active substances yet to be fully characterized or discovered.

KEYWORDS:

Computational toxicology; Endocrine disruption; Hormone action; Pharmaceutical; Teleost

PMID:
31733209
PMCID:
PMC6961817
[Available on 2021-01-15]
DOI:
10.1016/j.ygcen.2019.113325

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