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29 July 2017 Molecular regulation of sex change induced by methyltestosterone -feeding and methyltestosterone -feeding withdrawal in the protogynous orange-spotted grouper
Qing Wang, Yun Liu, Cheng Peng, Xiang Wang, Ling Xiao, Dengdong Wang, Jiaxing Chen, Haifa Zhang, Huihong Zhao, Shuisheng Li, Yong Zhang, Haoran Lin
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Abstract

The sex identity of fish can be easily manipulated by exogenous hormones. Treatment with 17-methyltestosterone (MT) has been widely used to induce a male fate, but the molecular and cellular processes underlying sex changes induced by MT treatments and the withdrawal of MT are not well studied. In this study, we systematically investigated gonadal histology, gene expression profiles, sex steroid hormone levels, and cellular changes during sex changes induced by MT-feeding and MT-feeding withdrawal in the protogynous orange-spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides. Based on gonadal histology, we demonstrated that MT-feeding-induced sex reversal can be divided into early and late phases: in the early phase, male and female germ cells coexist, and MT-feeding withdrawal leads to a female fate; in the late phase, only male germ cells are observed, and MT-feeding withdrawal does not reverse the process, leading to a male fate. In both the early and late phases, cytochrome P450 family19 subfamily A member 1 (cyp19a1a) gene expression increased in response to MT-feeding withdrawal. Finally, by tracing doublesex- and Mab-3-related transcription factor 1 (dmrt1)-expressing cells, we found that gonia-like cells in the germinal epithelium might be the major germ cell sources for developing testes during sex reversal. Collectively, our findings provide insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying sex changes induced by exogenous hormones.

Summary Sentence

We systematically investigated gonadal histology, gene expression profiles, sex steroid hormone levels, and cellular changes during sex changes induced by MT-feeding and MT-feeding withdrawal in the protogynous orange-spotted grouper.

© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
Qing Wang, Yun Liu, Cheng Peng, Xiang Wang, Ling Xiao, Dengdong Wang, Jiaxing Chen, Haifa Zhang, Huihong Zhao, Shuisheng Li, Yong Zhang, and Haoran Lin "Molecular regulation of sex change induced by methyltestosterone -feeding and methyltestosterone -feeding withdrawal in the protogynous orange-spotted grouper," Biology of Reproduction 97(2), 324-333, (29 July 2017). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/iox085
Received: 20 March 2017; Accepted: 28 July 2017; Published: 29 July 2017
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KEYWORDS
aromatase
germ cell
grouper
sex reversal
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