[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clotrimazole is an azole fungicide used as a human pharmaceutical that is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymatic activities, including several steroidogenic CYP. In a previous report, we showed that a 7-day exposure to clotrimazole induced the expression of genes related to steroidogenesis in the testes as a compensatory response, involving the activation of the Fsh/Fshr pathway. In this context, the aim of the present study was to assess the effect of an in vivo 21-day chronic exposure to clotrimazole (30-197 μg/L) on zebrafish testis function, i.e., spermatogenesis and androgen release. The experimental design combined (1) gene transcript levels measurements along the brain-pituitary-gonad axis, (2) 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) quantification in the blood, and (3) histology of the testes, including morphometric analysis. The chronic exposure led to an induction of steroidogenesis-related genes and fshr in the testes as well as fshβ in the pituitary. Moreover, increases of the gonadosomatic index and of the volume proportion of interstitial Leydig cells were observed in clotrimazole-exposed fish. In accordance with these histological observations, the circulating concentration of 11-KT had increased. Morphometric analysis of the testes did not show an effect of clotrimazole on meiotic (spermatocytes) or postmeiotic (spermatids and spermatozoa) stages, but we observed an increase in the number of type A spermatogonia, in agreement with an increase in mRNA levels of piwil1, a specific molecular marker of type A spermatogonia. Our study demonstrated that clotrimazole is able to affect testicular physiology and raised further concern about the impact of clotrimazole on reproduction.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research 01/2013; · 2.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estrogens can affect expression of genes encoding steroidogenic enzymes in fish gonads. However little information is available on their effects at the protein level. In this context, we first analyzed the expression of key steroidogenic enzyme genes and proteins in zebrafish testis, paying attention also to other cell types than Leydig cells. Gene expression was analysed by quantitative PCR on fluorescence activated cell sorting fractions coupled or not to differential plating, while protein synthesis was studied by immunohistochemistry using specific antibodies against zebrafish Cyp17a1, Cyp19a1a and Cyp19a1b. Furthermore, we have evaluated the effect of oestrogen treatment (17β-œstradiol, 10 nM) on the localization of these enzymes after 7 and 14 days of in vivo exposure in order to study how œstrogen-mediated modulation of their synthesis is linked to œstrogen effects on spermatogenesis. The major outcomes of this study are that Leydig cells express Cyp17a1 and Cyp19a1a, while testicular germ cells express Cyp17a1 and both, Cyp19a1a and Cyp19a1b. As regards Cyp17a1, both protein and mRNA seem to be quantitatively dominating in Leydig cells. Moreover, 17β-œstradiol exposure specifically affects only Leydig cell Cyp17a1 synthesis, preceding the disruption of spermatogenesis. The œstrogen-induced suppression of the androgen production capacity in Leydig cells is a major event in altering spermatogenesis, while germ cell steroidogenesis may have to be fuelled by precursors from Leydig cells. Further studies are needed to elucidate the functionality of steroidogenic enzymes in germ cells and their potential role in the testicular physiology.
Journal of Endocrinology 01/2013; · 3.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clotrimazole is a pharmaceutical fungicide known to inhibit several cytochrome P450 enzyme activities, including several steroidogenic enzymes. This study aimed to assess short-term in vivo effects of clotrimazole exposure on blood 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) levels and on the transcriptional activity of genes in pituitary and testis tissue that are functionally relevant for androgen production with the view to further characterize the mode of action of clotrimazole on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis in zebrafish, a model vertebrate in toxicology. Adult male zebrafish were exposed to measured concentrations in water of 71, 159 and 258μg/L of clotrimazole for 7 days. Expression of pituitary gonadotropins β subunit (lhb, fshb), testicular gonadotropins receptors (lhcgr, fshr) and testicular steroidogenesis-related genes (e.g., star, cyp17a1, cyp11c1) were assessed. Blood concentrations of 11-KT were measured. Short-term exposure to clotrimazole induced a concentration-dependent increase of star, cyp17a1, and cyp11c1 gene expression and Cyp17a1 and Cy11c1 protein synthesis in Leydig cells, but androgen levels in blood remained unchanged. fshb, but not lhb mRNA levels in the pituitary tended to increase in clotrimazole-exposed zebrafish. Testicular expression of the Fsh receptor gene was significantly up-regulated following exposure, when expression of this receptor was significantly correlated to the expression of steroidogenesis-related genes. Moreover, the Fsh-regulated insulin-like growth factor 3 (igf3) gene, a fish-specific Igf peptide expressed in Sertoli cells, was induced in testes. By using a network of genes functioning in pituitary and testis tissue, our study demonstrated that clotrimazole induced a cascade of molecular and cellular events which are in agreement with a role for Fsh (1) in stimulating Leydig cell steroidogenesis to compensate the inhibitory action of clotrimazole on 11-KT synthesis and (2) in inducing the expression of Fsh-regulated igf3 in Sertoli cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to characterize P450 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (cyp17a1) expression in zebrafish and to assess the effect of the pharmaceutical clotrimazole, a known inhibitor of various cytochrome P450 enzyme activities, on testicular gene and protein expression of this enzyme as well as on the testicular release of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), a potent androgen in fish. We first showed that cyp17a1 is predominantly expressed in gonads of zebrafish, notably in male. In vivo, clotrimazole induced a concentration-dependent increase of cyp17a1 gene expression and Cyp17-I protein synthesis in zebrafish testis. Using zebrafish testicular explants, we further showed that clotrimazole did not directly affect cyp17a1 expression but that it did inhibit 11-KT release. These novel data deserve further studies on the effect of azole fungicides on gonadal steroidogenesis.
General and Comparative Endocrinology 09/2011; 174(3):309-17. · 2.82 Impact Factor