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G Flouriot, F Pakdel, B Ducouret, and Y Valotaire


Rainbow trout hepatocyte primary culture was used to test the influence of some xenobiotics on the expression of two genes implicated in reproduction, those for the estrogen receptor (ER) and vitellogenin (Vg). We showed that chlordecone, nonylphenol, a polychlorobiphenol (PCB) mixture (Aroclor 1245) and lindane were able to induce ER and Vg mRNA accumulation. Antiestrogens, 4-hydroxytamoxifen and ICI 164,384, prevented the effects of the xenobiotics, indicating that the induction of gene expression is mediated by the ER. Among these four xenobiotics, only chlordecone and nonylphenol were able to displace the binding of [3H]estradiol to ER-enriched COS-1 extracts, and to activate an estrogen-dependent reporter gene (ERE-TK-CAT) cotransfected with an expression vector containing ER cDNA. The results suggest that chlordecone and nonylphenol are direct inducers of rainbow trout ER and Vg gene expression, whereas PCBs and lindane act through their hepatic metabolites. Moreover, pentachlorophenol acts as an antagonist of the induction by estradiol of rainbow trout ER and Vg gene expression.

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G Flouriot, B Ducouret, L Byrnes, and Y Valotaire

Estrogens modulate the expression of many liver-specific genes in oviparous species. For instance, expression of the estrogen receptor and vitellogenin genes is strongly up-regulated by estradiol in rainbow trout liver. Using hepatocyte primary cultures, we demonstrate that trout albumin (Alb) gene is also regulated by this hormone. Indeed, treatment of hepatocytes with 1 microM estradiol led, after 24 h, to a dramatic decrease in Alb mRNA level. To investigate the mechanism of this down-regulation, run-off experiments were performed and mRNA half-lives were determined in the presence and absence of estradiol. The results show that the down-regulation of Alb mRNA expression by estrogens occurs only at the transcriptional level.