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Neurodevelopmental effects of natural and synthetic ligands of estrogen and progesterone receptors in zebrafish eleutheroembryos

  • Kah, Olivier
  • Brion, François
  • Pellegrini, Elisabeth
  • Vaillant, Colette
  • Gueguen, Marie-Madeleine
  • Feat, Justyne
  • Charlier, Thierry D
  • Coumailleau, Pascal
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
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Natural and synthetic estrogens and progestins are widely used in human and veterinary medicine and are detected in waste and surface waters. Our previous studies have clearly shown that a number of these substances targets the brain to induce the estrogen-regulated brain aromatase expression but the consequences on brain development remain virtually unexplored. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the effect of estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4) and norethindrone (NOR), a 19-nortestosterone progestin, on zebrafish larval neurogenesis. We first demonstrated using real-time quantitative PCR that nuclear estrogen and progesterone receptor brain expression is impacted by E2, P4 and NOR. We brought evidence that brain proliferative and apoptotic activities were differentially affected depending on the steroidal hormone studied, the concentration of steroids and the region investigated. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that steroid compounds released in aquatic environment have the capacity to disrupt key cellular events involved in brain development in zebrafish embryos further questioning the short- and long-term consequences of this disruption on the physiology and behavior of organisms.

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