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Open Access Estrogen-Responsive Transient Expression Assay Using a Brain Aromatase-Based Reporter Gene in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

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Whereas endogenous estrogens play an important role in the development, maintenance, and function of female and male reproductive organs, xenoestrogens present in the environment disrupt normal endocrine function in humans and wildlife. Various in vivo and in vitro assays have been developed to screen these xenoestrogens. However, traditional in vivo assays are laborious and unsuitable for large-scale screening, and in vitro assays do not necessarily replicate in vivo functioning. To overcome these limitations, we developed a transient expression assay in zebrafish, into which a brain aromatase (cyp19a1b)-based estrogen-responsive reporter gene was introduced. In response to 17-estradiol (10−6 M) and heptachlor (10−6 M), zebrafish embryos carrying the reporter construct expressed enhanced green fluorescent protein in the olfactory bulb, telencephalon, preoptic area, and mediobasal hypothalamus. This system will serve to model the in vivo conversion and breakdown of estrogenic compounds and thus provide a rapid preliminary screening method to estimate their estrogenicity.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, and BK2 Program for Veterinary Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea 2: Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics and Department of Genetics, The Graduate University of Advanced Studies, Mishima, Japan

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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