Activation of estrogen receptor alpha disrupts differentiation of the reproductive organs in chicken embryos
2011 (English)In: General and Comparative Endocrinology, ISSN 0016-6480, E-ISSN 1095-6840, Vol. 172, no 2, 251-259 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Gonadal estrogen plays an important role in the differentiation of a female phenotype in birds. Exogenous compounds that interfere with estrogen signaling, for instance by binding to the estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ER alpha and ER beta), are therefore potential disruptors of sexual differentiation in birds. The ER alpha agonist propyl-pyrazole-triol (PPT), the ER alpha antagonist methyl piperidino pyrazole (MPP) and the ER beta agonist diarylproprionitrile (DPN) were used in the present study to explore the roles of the ERs in normal and disrupted sex differentiation in the chicken embryo. Activation of ER alpha by PPT caused disturbed differentiation of the reproductive organs in both sexes. In male embryos, PPT caused left-side ovotestis formation and retention of the Mullerian ducts. In female embryos, PPT caused retention of the right Mullerian duct (which normally regresses) and malformation of both Mullerian ducts. PPT also induced hepatic expression of mRNA for the estrogen-regulated egg yolk protein apoVLDL II. Notably, none of these effects were observed following treatment with DPN. ER alpha-inactivation by MPP counteracted the action of PPT but had little effect by its own. Our results indicate that ER alpha plays an important role in sex differentiation of the reproductive tract in female chicken embryos and show that ERa can mediate xenoestrogen-induced disturbances of sex differentiation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 172, no 2, 251-259 p.
Chicken embryo, Estrogen receptor, Ovotestis, Mullerian ducts, Sex differentiation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-154908DOI: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2011.03.010ISI: 000290924600008PubMedID: 21420409OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-154908DiVA: diva2:422542