The objectives of the present study were to investigate the effects of oral administration of aromatase inhibitors on sex change, milt volume, 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), and LH in plasma; aromatase activity in gonad, pituitary, and brain in the protandrous fish, black porgy (Acanthopagus schlegeli Bleeker). Two-year-old functional male black porgy were divided into two groups; one was fed a control diet and the other was fed a diet mixed with aromatase inhibitors (AIs; fadrozole and 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione, each 10 mg/kg feed) for 8.5 mo. A significantly higher gonadosomatic index was observed in the AI group. Fish treated with AIs showed complete suppression of natural sex change. Significantly higher levels of plasma 11-KT, LH, and milt volume were shown in the AI group than the controls. Lower aromatase activity in the gonad, pituitary, forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain in concordance with the suppression of sex change was observed in the AI group. The data show that aromatase is directly involved in the mechanism of natural sex change of protandrous black porgy. AIs also enhanced male function in concordance with the elevated plasma levels of 11-KT and spermiation in milt volume.
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