Progesterone (P4) is a natural steroid hormone excreted by humans and animals. Noncomplete degradation in treatment plants result in levels in the ng/L range in surface waters. Very little is known of the effects on fish at such concentrations. Here we determine the global expression profile in the brain and ovary of female zebrafish exposed for 14 days to 3.5, 33 and 306 ng/L P4 to elucidate molecular effects. For validation selected transcripts were determined by RT-qPCR. In the brain, 54 and 255 transcripts were altered at 3.5 and 306 ng/L, respectively. Genes related to circadian rhythm (nr1d2b, per1b), cell cycle and reproduction (cdc20, ccnb1) were down-regulated. In the ovary, transcriptional changes occurred in 200, 84 and 196 genes at 3.5, 33 and 306 ng/L, respectively. The genes belong to different pathways including cardiac hypertrophy, cell cycle and its regulation. P4 slightly influenced oocyte maturation as revealed by histology of the ovaries. In the liver, vtg1 was down-regulated at all concentrations and VTG protein at 306 ng/L in the blood. The data show molecular effects and the modes of action of P4 at environmental concentrations. Ultimately they may translate to adverse effects on reproduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry