Effects of sex steroids on expression of genes regulating growth-related mechanisms in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2015 May 15;216:103-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.11.018. Epub 2014 Dec 4.


Effects of a single injection of 17β-estradiol (E2), testosterone (T), or 5β-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on expression of genes central to the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis, muscle-regulatory factors, transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) superfamily signaling cascade, and estrogen receptors were determined in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) liver and white muscle tissue. In liver in addition to regulating GH sensitivity and IGF production, sex steroids also affected expression of IGF binding proteins, as E2, T, and DHT increased expression of igfbp2b and E2 also increased expression of igfbp2 and igfbp4. Regulation of this system also occurred in white muscle in which E2 increased expression of igf1, igf2, and igfbp5b1, suggesting anabolic capacity may be maintained in white muscle in the presence of E2. In contrast, DHT decreased expression of igfbp5b1. DHT and T decreased expression of myogenin, while other muscle regulatory factors were either not affected or responded similarly for all steroid treatments. Genes within the TGFβ superfamily signaling cascade responded to steroid treatment in both liver and muscle, suggesting a regulatory role for sex steroids in the ability to transmit signals initiated by TGFβ superfamily ligands, with a greater number of genes responding in liver than in muscle. Estrogen receptors were also regulated by sex steroids, with era1 expression increasing for all treatments in muscle, but only E2- and T-treatment in liver. E2 reduced expression of erb2 in liver. Collectively, these data identify how physiological mechanisms are regulated by sex steroids in a manner that promotes the disparate effects of androgens and estrogens on growth in salmonids.

Keywords: Fish; Insulin-like growth factor; Multiplex; Reproduction; Steroid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Dihydrotestosterone / pharmacology
  • Estradiol / pharmacology*
  • Estrogens / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 5 / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 5 / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / metabolism*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / genetics
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Estrogen / genetics
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Steroids / metabolism
  • Testosterone / pharmacology


  • Androgens
  • Estrogens
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 5
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Steroids
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II