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Medroxyprogesterone acetate affects sex differentiation and spermatogenesis in zebrafish.

Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands) (2019-05-12)
Wen-Jun Shi, Dong-Dong Ma, Yu-Xia Jiang, Lingtian Xie, Jin-Na Zhang, Guo-Yong Huang, Hong-Xing Chen, Li-Ping Hou, You-Sheng Liu, Guang-Guo Ying

Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is a widely used synthetic progestin and it has been frequently detected in aquatic environments. However, its effects on aquatic organisms remain largely unknown. Here we investigated the chronic effects of MPA on sex differentiation and gonad development in zebrafish. Zebrafish larvae at 20 days post fertilization (dpf) were exposed to 4.32, 42.0, and 424 ng L-1 of MPA until they reached 140 dpf. The results showed that chronic exposure to 42.0 ng L-1 of MPA caused 60% proportion of males as well as significant up-regulation of dmrt1 (˜1.79 fold) and hsd17b3 (˜1.92 fold). Histological analysis showed MPA significantly increased the frequency of immature spermatocytes accompanied with the increased transcription of dmrt1 (˜2.06 fold) and ar (˜1.73 fold) in the testes. Meanwhile, MPA exposure significantly increased the transcription of lhb at all exposure concentrations in the males. In contrast, it significantly suppressed the transcription of lhb (˜-8.06-fold) and fshb (˜-6.35-fold) at 42.0 ng L-1 in the females. Collectively our results demonstrated that MPA had androgenic activity, and could affect sex differentiation and spermatogenesis in zebrafish at environmentally relevant concentrations. The findings from this study suggest that MPA in the aquatic environment may pose potential androgenic risks to fish populations.