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Differential effects of testosterone and 17β-estradiol on gonadal development in five anuran species.

Abstract : Sex hormones are essential for sexual differentiation and play a key role in the development of gonads in amphibians. The goal of this study was to evaluate the influence of exogenous sex steroids, testosterone, and 17β-estradiol (E(2)) on development of gonads in five anuran species differing in their evolutionary positions, sex determination, and mode of gonadogenesis. We found that in two closely related species of fire-bellied toad, Bombina bombina and Bombina variegata, testosterone and E(2) exposure results in sex reversal as well as intersex and undifferentiated gonads. Similarly, sex reversal was observed in Hyla arborea after exposure to male or female sex steroids. Xenopus laevis was sensitive to E(2) but only moderately to testosterone. In Bufo viridis, treatment with either sex hormone provoked a developmental delay in gonads and Bidder's organs. Therefore, susceptibility to hormonal sex reversal appeared species dependent but unrelated to genetic sex determination and the type of gonadogenesis. We also found that the onset of sex steroid exposure influences gonad differentiation and the meiotic status of the germ cells depends on their location within the gonad. Our findings reveal differential sensitivity of amphibians to testosterone and E(2), establishing a hierarchy of sensitivity to these hormones among different anuran species.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 4:45:23 PM
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Rafal P. Piprek, Anna Pecio, Jacek Z. Kubiak, Jacek M. Szymura. Differential effects of testosterone and 17β-estradiol on gonadal development in five anuran species.. Reproduction, BioScientifica, 2012, 144 (2), pp.257-67. ⟨10.1530/REP-12-0048⟩. ⟨inserm-00702878⟩



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