Regulation of mouse liver flavin-containing monooxygenases 1 and 3 by sex steroids

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1997 Jun 15;342(2):212-23. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1997.9965.


Based on enzyme activity, protein levels, and mRNA levels, we have previously demonstrated the female-predominant, female-specific, and gender-independent expression in mouse liver of FMO forms 1, 3, and 5, respectively. This study investigated the roles of testosterone, 17 beta-estradiol, and progesterone in the regulation of hepatic FMOs. FMO expression was examined in gonadectomized CD-1 mice, normal CD-1 mice receiving hormonal implants, and gonadectomized mice receiving various hormonal treatments. Following castration of males, hepatic FMO activity levels were significantly increased and serum testosterone levels significantly decreased; however, administration of physiological levels of testosterone to castrated animals returned FMO activity and testosterone concentrations to control levels. When sexually intact and ovariectomized female mice were treated with testosterone, their hepatic FMO activity levels were reduced to those of their male counterparts, concomitant with high serum testosterone levels. In males, castration dramatically increased FMO3 and FMO1 expression, and testosterone replacement to castrated males resulted in ablation of FMO3 expression. In addition, testosterone administration to females (sexually intact and gonadectomized animals) reduced FMO1 expression and obviated FMO3 expression. In females, ovariectomy alone slightly reduced FMO activity, indicative of a possible stimulatory role of female sex steroids; however, female FMO isozyme expression was relatively unchanged, and hormone replacement therapy to ovariectomized females had no discernible effect. In males and females, FMO5 levels were unaffected by gonadectomy or hormone administration, thus indicating a sex hormone-independent mechanism of regulation for this isoform. Interestingly, FMO1 protein levels were increased in sexually intact males following treatment with 17 beta-estradiol; however, only a slight increase in FMO3 protein level was observed. No positive hormone effectors of female FMO expression were identified.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Castration
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estradiol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Ovariectomy
  • Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Progesterone / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Seminal Vesicles / drug effects
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / pharmacology*
  • Uterus / drug effects


  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Oxygenases
  • dimethylaniline monooxygenase (N-oxide forming)