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A critical role of follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) in mediating the effect of clotrimazole on testicular steroidogenesis in adult zebrafish

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 258 micro g/L of clotrimazole for 7 days. Expression of pituitary gonadotropins ß subunit (lhb, fshb), testicular gonadotropins receptors (lhcgr, fshr) and testicular steroidogenesisrelated 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 upregulated 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 in stimulating Leydig cell steroidogenesis to compensate the inhibitory action of clotrimazole on 11-KT synthesis and in inducing the expression of Fsh-regulated igf3 in Sertoli cells.
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Damien Baudiffier, Nathalie Hinfray, Mélanie Vosges, Nicolas Creusot, Edith Chadili, et al.. A critical role of follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) in mediating the effect of clotrimazole on testicular steroidogenesis in adult zebrafish. Toxicology, Elsevier, 2012, 298 (1-3), pp.30-39. ⟨10.1016/j.tox.2012.04.012⟩. ⟨ineris-00963381⟩



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