The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of norgestrel on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes in zebrafish eleutheroembryos. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to different concentrations of norgestrel (0ngL-1, 5ngL-1, 50ngL-1, and 100ngL-1) for 144h post fertilization (hpf), and the transcriptional profiles of the HPG and HPA axes were examined every day. Norgestrel modulated the expression of Pgr and Vtg1 messenger (m)RNAs mainly at 96 hpf for all treatment groups. In addition, norgestrel strongly altered the expression of Cyp11a1 mRNA above 5ngL-1 (significant upregulation from 48 hpf to 120 hpf and significant downregulation for 144 hpf). Norgestrel treatment could significantly induce expression of Cyp19a1a, Cyp11b, Gnrh2, Gnrh3, and Lhb mRNAs but inhibit transcripts of Hsd11b2 and Crh genes above 5ngL-1 at different time points. The transcriptional expression levels of Esr1, Ar, Star, Hsd17b3, Fshb, and Pomc were also mediated by 5ngL-1 norgestrel or higher during different exposure periods. Taken together, the overall results imply that the transcriptional changes in zebrafish eleutheroembryos may pose a potential effect on embryonic development, in particular in the brain and gonadogenesis.
- Gene transcription
- Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
- Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis