The brain of amphibians contains all the key enzymes of steroidogenesis and has a high steroidogenic activity. In seasonally-breeding amphibian species brain steroid levels fluctuate synchronously with the reproductive cycle. Here we report a study of gene expression of StAR protein, key steroidogenic enzymes and sex hormone receptors in the telencephalon (T) and diencephalon-mesencephalon (D-M) of male and female reproductive and post-reproductive Pelophylax esculentus, a seasonally breeding anuran amphibian. Significant differences in gene expression were observed between (a) the reproductive and post-reproductive phase, (b) the two brain regions and (c) male and female frogs. During the reproductive phase, star gene expression increased in the male (both T and D-M) but not in the female brain. Seasonal fluctuations in expression levels of hsd3b1, hsd17b1, srd5a1 and cypl9a1 genes for neurosteroidogenic enzymes occurred in D-M region of both sexes, with the higher levels in reproductive period. Moreover, the D-M region generally showed higher levels of gene expression than the T region in both sexes. Gene expression was higher in females than males for most genes, suggesting higher neurosteroid production in female brain. Seasonal and sex-linked changes were also observed in gene expression for androgen (ar) and estrogen (esr1, esr2) receptors, with the males showing the highest ar levels in reproductive phase and the highest esri and esr2 levels in post-reproductive phase; in contrast, females showed the maximum expression for all three genes in reproductive phase. The results are the first evidence for seasonal changes and sexual dimorphism of gene expression of the neurosteroidogenic pathway in amphibians. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
|Titolo:||Seasonal changes and sexual dimorphism in gene expression of StAR protein, steroidogenic enzymes and sex hormone receptors in the frog brain|
SANTILLO, Alessandra (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|