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. 2004 Oct;139(1):72-84.
doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2004.07.003.

Localization and Expression of Aromatase mRNA in Adult Zebrafish


Localization and Expression of Aromatase mRNA in Adult Zebrafish

Rie Goto-Kazeto et al. Gen Comp Endocrinol. .


Estradiol plays a key role in the control of many behavioral and physiological aspects of reproduction therefore the expression of cytochrome P450 aromatase (CYP19), the enzyme responsible for the conversion of androgens to estrogens, is of vital interest. The zebrafish, and many other teleosts, have two aromatase genes (CYP19A1 and CYP19A2) that are expressed predominantly in the ovary and brain, respectively, however, the physiological impact of extra-gonadal aromatase has been poorly described. In this study, in situ hybridizations of whole-mount and paraffin sections of adult zebrafish brains, pituitaries, and ovarian follicles showed that CYP19A2 was strongly expressed in the olfactory bulb (OB), ventral telencephalon (TEL), preoptic area (POA), and ventral/caudal hypothalamic zone (HT) of the brain, and in the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary. The regional distribution of the CYP19A2 mRNA did not vary with sex however transcript abundance varied within (male "high expressers" had much higher expression in the OB, TEL, and HT than in "low expressers") and between sexes (higher in OB, TEL, and HT of males than in females). In situ hybridizations of CYP19A1 failed to develop a signal in the brain or pituitary but were detectable by RT-PCR. CYP19A1 was highly expressed in Stage III B follicles (>500 nm) with significantly lower levels in the Stage IV follicles (>680 nm), Stage III A follicles (>350 nm), and Stage I and II follicles (350 microm) which were embedded in connective tissues. The differential expression of the aromatase genes, particularly CYP19A2 in the brain, suggests that the two aromatase genes play different roles in the reproductive behavior and/or physiology of bony fish.

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