Progesterone and norgestrel alter transcriptional expression of genes along the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis in zebrafish embryos-larvae.

Research paper by Yan-Qiu YQ Liang, Guo-Yong GY Huang, Guang-Guo GG Ying, Shuang-Shuang SS Liu, Yu-Xia YX Jiang, Shan S Liu

Indexed on: 04 Oct '14Published on: 04 Oct '14Published in: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of progestins on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis in the early stage of zebrafish. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to progesterone (P4) or norgestrel (NGT) at 5, 50 and 100 ng L(-1) for 144 h post fertilization (hpf), and the transcriptional levels of target genes along the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis were determined daily. The results showed that P4 had only minor effects on the mRNA expression of thyroglobulin (Tg), iodothyronine deiodinase type Ι (Dio1) and thyroid hormone receptor β (Thrb) genes. Similarly, the effects of NGT on transcripts of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (Trh), Dio1, iodothyronine deiodinase type II (Dio2) and thyroid hormone receptor α (Thra) genes were generally low. In addition, NGT resulted in some alterations of Tg and Thrb transcripts at different time points. However, a strong induction of Nis mRNA by P4 and NGT was observed in zebrafish embryos-larvae. The overall results showed that besides Nis no effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis are observed following exposure to P4 and NGT, which imply that both P4 and NGT have potential effects on the thyroid endocrine system by inducing transcript of Nis gene during the early stage of zebrafish.