John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Effects of the commercial anti‐androgen, flutamide on the biomarkers of reproduction in male murray rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis)

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The endocrine responses in male Murray rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis) have been evaluated after exposures to biologically active concentrations of the non‐steroidal pharmaceutical, flutamide. Fish were exposed to nominal concentrations of 125, 250, 500 and 1000 µg/L of flutamide for 7 days, after which plasma vitellogenin concentration, brain aromatase activity and hepatic expression of the genes for vitellogenin, choriogenin and androgen and estrogen receptors were assessed. Qualitative assessment of the testes of the fish exposed to flutamide exhibited hindrance in the transformation of spermatogonia to spermatozoa and increased testicular anomalies like multinucleated and pyknotic cells and interstitial fibrosis. An increase in the hepatosomatic index with respect to the controls was noted after treatment of the fish with flutamide at all concentrations. Vitellogenin was induced in plasma in 1000 µg/L flutamide group. The activity of aromatase in the brain declined significantly after exposures to flutamide at all concentrations. Males exposed to 1000 µg/L of flutamide showed a down‐regulation in the genes encoding androgen receptors α and β. The expression of the gene for the estrogen receptor α was induced and of vitellogenin was down‐regulated after treatment with 250–1000 µg/L of flutamide. The results suggest that 7‐day exposures to 125–1000 µg/L flutamide can impair the reproductive endocrine system in male Murray rainbowfish at multiple levels by an anti‐androgenic mode of action. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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