Developmental programming: gestational testosterone treatment alters fetal ovarian gene expression.
ABSTRACT Prenatal testosterone (T) treatment leads to polycystic ovarian morphology, enhanced follicular recruitment/depletion, and increased estradiol secretion. This study addresses whether expression of key ovarian genes and microRNA are altered by prenatal T excess and whether changes are mediated by androgenic or estrogenic actions of T. Pregnant Suffolk ewes were treated with T or T plus the androgen receptor antagonist, flutamide (T+F) from d 30 to 90 of gestation. Expression of steroidogenic enzymes, steroid/gonadotropin receptors, and key ovarian regulators were measured by RT-PCR using RNA obtained from fetal ovaries collected on d 65 [n = 4, 5, and 5 for T, T+F, and control groups, respectively] and d 90 (n = 5, 7, 4) of gestation. Additionally, fetal d 90 RNA were hybridized to multispecies microRNA microarrays. Prenatal T decreased (P < 0.05) Cyp11a1 expression (3.7-fold) in d 90 ovaries and increased Cyp19 (3.9-fold) and 5α-reductase (1.8-fold) expression in d 65 ovaries. Flutamide prevented the T-induced decrease in Cyp11a1 mRNA at d 90 but not the Cyp19 and 5α-reductase increase in d 65 ovaries. Cotreatment with T+F increased Cyp11a1 (3.0-fold) expression in d 65 ovaries, relative to control and T-treated ovaries. Prenatal T altered fetal ovarian microRNA expression, including miR-497 and miR-15b, members of the same family that have been implicated in insulin signaling. These studies demonstrate that maternal T treatment alters fetal ovarian steroidogenic gene and microRNA expression and implicate direct actions of estrogens in addition to androgens in the reprogramming of ovarian developmental trajectory leading up to adult reproductive pathologies.
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ABSTRACT: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is prevalent in reproductive-aged women and confounded by metabolic morbidities, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Although the etiology of PCOS is undefined, contribution of prenatal androgen (PA) exposure has been proposed in a rhesus monkey model as premenopausal PA female adults have PCOS-like phenotypes in addition to insulin resistance and decreased glucose tolerance. PA female infants exhibit relative hyperinsulinemia, suggesting prenatal sequelae of androgen excess on glucose metabolism and an antecedent to future metabolic disease. We assessed consequences of PA exposure on pancreatic islet morphology to identify evidence of programming on islet development. Islet counts and size were quantified and correlated with data from intravenous glucose tolerance tests (ivGTT) obtained from dams and their offspring. Average islet size was decreased in PA female infants along with corresponding increases in islet number, while islet fractional area was preserved. Infants also demonstrated an increase in both the proliferation marker Ki67 within islets and the beta to alpha cell ratio suggestive of enhanced beta cell expansion. PA adult females have reduced proportion of small islets without changes in proliferative or apoptotic markers, or in beta to alpha cell ratios. Together, these data suggest in utero androgen excess combined with mild maternal glucose intolerance alter infant and adult islet morphology, implicating deviant islet development. Marked infant, but subtle adult, morphological differences provide evidence of islet post-natal plasticity in adapting to changing physiologic demands: from insulin sensitivity and relative hypersecretion to insulin resistance and diminished insulin response to glucose in the mature PCOS-like phenotype.PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106527. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: ContentsWe investigated whether the limited access to androgens during late prenatal period alters expression of steroidogenic enzymes involved in androgen production: 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ5-Δ4 isomerase (3β-HSD), cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (CYP17) and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (17β-HSD1) or type 3 (17β-HSD3) in the foetal porcine gonads. Pregnant gilts were injected with anti-androgen flutamide (for seven days, 50 mg/day/kg bw) or corn oil (control) starting at 83 (GD90) or 101 (GD108) gestational day. To assess 3β-HSD, CYP17 and 17β-HSD1 or 17β-HSD3 expression, real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry were performed. In testes from flutamide-treated foetuses, increased 3β-HSD and CYP17 mRNA expression was observed in the GD90 group, while decreased 3β-HSD and 17β-HSD3 mRNA expression and increased CYP17 mRNA expression were found in the GD108 group. CYP17 and 17β-HSD3 were localized in Leydig cells. Following flutamide administration, the intensity of CYP17 immunostaining was higher in both treated groups, while 17β-HSD3 intensity was lower in the GD108 group. In ovaries from flutamide-treated foetuses in the GD90 group, mRNA level for 3β-HSD was elevated, but it was diminished for CYP17 and 17β-HSD1. In the GD108 group, flutamide treatment led to lower mRNA level for 3β-HSD but higher for CYP17. 3β-HSD was found in granulosa cells, while CYP17 was localized within egg nests and oocytes of forming follicles. Following flutamide treatment, the intensity of 3β-HSD and CYP17 immunostaining was higher in the GD90 and GD108 groups, respectively. Immunohistochemical staining for 3β-HSD was restricted to the ovary. Concluding, diminished androgen action in the porcine foetal gonads during late gestation induces changes in steroidogenic enzymes expression, which may led to changes in gonadal function. However, it seems that androgens exert diverse biological effects depending on the gestational period.Reproduction in Domestic Animals 08/2014; · 1.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prenatal testosterone (T) excess disrupts ovarian cyclicity and increases circulating estradiol levels as well as follicular recruitment and persistence culminating in multifollicular ovary similar to women with polycystic ovary syndrome. We tested whether prenatal T excess, by androgenic or estrogenic action, disrupts the steroid biosynthetic machinery in sheep in a cell-, follicle stage-, age-, and treatment-specific manner consistent with the ovarian disruptions and increased estradiol release. Impact of T/dihydrotestosterone (DHT) treatments from days 30-90 of gestation on steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, cytochrome P-450 17α-hydroxylase/C17, 20-lyase (CYP17A1), and cytochrome P-450 aromatase (CYP19A1) were examined on fetal day 90, 140 and 10 months (postpubertal), and 21 months (adult, no DHT group) of age by immunohistochemistry. All 4 markers changed in a cell-, follicle stage-, and age-specific manner. Both treatments increased steroidogenic acute regulatory protein expression in preantral follicles of postpubertal and adult females. Effects of prenatal T and DHT on 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase differed in a follicle- and age-specific manner. CYP17A1 was reduced in the theca interna of antral follicles by T, but not DHT, in 10- and 21-month-old females. CYP19A1 was reduced by both T and DHT at all ages barring an increase on fetal day 140. Reduced granulosa CYP19A1 and thecal CYP17A1 in adults likely disrupt the intrafollicular androgen/estrogen balance contributing to follicular persistence. The reduced thecal CYP17A1 expression suggests that the hyperandrogenic ovarian phenotype may originate from increased enzyme activity or alternatively via a different isoform of CYP17. The reduced CYP19A1 in antral follicles of adults indicates that the increased circulating estradiol release likely arises from the increased number of persisting follicles.Endocrinology 07/2014; · 4.72 Impact Factor