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Elevated amh gene expression in the brain of male tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) during testis differentiation

Poonlaphdecha S., Pepey E., Huang S.H., Canonne M., Soler L., Mortaji S., Morand S., Pfennig F., Mélard C., Baroiller J.F., D'Cotta H.. 2011. Sexual Development, 5 (1) : p. 33-47.

Anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) is expressed in male embryos and represses development of müllerian ducts during testis differentiation in mammals, birds and reptiles. Amh orthologues have been identified in teleosts despite them lacking müllerian ducts. Previously we found sexually dimorphic aromatase activity in tilapia brains before ovarian differentiation. This prompted us to search for further dimorphisms in tilapia brains during sex differentiation and see whether amh is expressed. We cloned the tilapia amh gene and found that it contains 7 exons but no spliced forms. The putative protein presents highest homologies with Amh proteins of pejerrey and medaka as compared to other Perciformes. We analysed amh expression in adult tissues and found elevated levels in testes, ovary and brain. Amh expression was dimorphic with higher levels in XY male brains at 10-15 dpf, when the gonads were still undifferentiated and gonadal amh was not dimorphic. Male brains had 2.7-fold higher amh expression than gonads. Thereafter, amh levels decreased in the brain while they were up-regulated in differentiating testes. Our study indicates that amh is transcribed in male brains already at 10 dpf, suggesting that sexual differentiation may be occurring earlier in tilapia brain than in gonads. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : hormone; détermination du sexe; différenciation sexuelle; dimorphisme sexuel; tilapia; oreochromis niloticus

Thématique : Physiologie animale : reproduction; Génétique et amélioration des animaux; Production de l'aquaculture

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