Disruption of androgen signaling is known to cause testicular malformation and defective spermatogenesis in zebrafish. However, knockout of cyp17a1, a key enzyme responsible for the androgen synthesis, in ar-/- male zebrafish paradoxically causes testicular hypertrophy and enhanced spermatogenesis. Because Cyp17a1 plays key roles in hydroxylation of pregnenolone and progesterone (P4), and convert of 17α-hydroxypregnenolone to dehydroepiandrosterone and 17α-hydroxyprogesterone to androstenedione, we hypothesize that the unexpected phenotype in cyp17a1-/-;androgen receptor (ar)-/- zebrafish may be mediated through an augmentation of progestin/nuclear progestin receptor (nPgr) signaling. In support of this hypothesis, we show that knockout of cyp17a1 leads to accumulation of 17α,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (DHP) and P4. Further, administration of progestin, a synthetic DHP mimetic, is sufficient to rescue testicular development and spermatogenesis in ar-/- zebrafish, whereas knockout of npgr abolishes the rescue effect of cyp17a1-/- in the cyp17a1-/-;ar-/- double mutant. Analyses of the transcriptomes among the mutants with defective testicular organization and spermatogenesis (ar-/-, ar-/-;npgr-/- and cyp17a-/-;ar-/-;npgr-/-), those with normal phenotype (Control and cyp17a1-/-), and rescued phenotype (cyp17a1-/-;ar-/-) reveal a common link between a down-regulated expression of insl3 and its related downstream genes in cyp17a-/-;ar-/-;npgr-/- zebrafish. Taken together, our data suggest that genetic or pharmacological augmentation of the progestin/nPgr pathway is sufficient to restore testis organization and spermatogenesis in zebrafish with the depletion of androgen signaling.
The knockout fish and genes involved in this study have been cited and clearly listed in the references.
- Zhan Yin
- Zhan Yin
- Gang Zhai
- Zhan Yin
- Xiangyan Dai
- Gang Zhai
- Zhan Yin
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal experimentation: All fish experiments were conducted in accordance with the Guiding Principles for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were approved by the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Approval ID: IHB 2013724).
- Cunming Duan, University of Michigan, United States
© 2022, Zhai et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Amino acid (AA) metabolism in vascular endothelium is important for sprouting angiogenesis. SLC38A5 (solute carrier family 38 member 5), an AA transporter, shuttles neutral AAs across cell membrane, including glutamine, which may serve as metabolic fuel for proliferating endothelial cells (ECs) to promote angiogenesis. Here, we found that Slc38a5 is highly enriched in normal retinal vascular endothelium, and more specifically, in pathological sprouting neovessels. Slc38a5 is suppressed in retinal blood vessels from Lrp5−/− and Ndpy/− mice, both genetic models of defective retinal vascular development with Wnt signaling mutations. Additionally, Slc38a5 transcription is regulated by Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Genetic deficiency of Slc38a5 in mice substantially delays retinal vascular development and suppresses pathological neovascularization in oxygen-induced retinopathy modeling ischemic proliferative retinopathies. Inhibition of SLC38A5 in human retinal vascular ECs impairs EC proliferation and angiogenic function, suppresses glutamine uptake, and dampens vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2. Together these findings suggest that SLC38A5 is a new metabolic regulator of retinal angiogenesis by controlling AA nutrient uptake and homeostasis in ECs.
The organization of neural circuits determines nervous system function. Variability can arise during neural circuit development (e.g. neurite morphology, axon/dendrite position). To ensure robust nervous system function, mechanisms must exist to accommodate variation in neurite positioning during circuit formation. Previously we developed a model system in the Drosophila ventral nerve cord to conditionally induce positional variability of a proprioceptive sensory axon terminal, and used this model to show that when we altered the presynaptic position of the sensory neuron, its major postsynaptic interneuron partner modified its dendritic arbor to match the presynaptic contact, resulting in functional synaptic input (Sales et al., 2019). Here we investigate the cellular mechanisms by which the interneuron dendrites detect and match variation in presynaptic partner location and input strength. We manipulate the presynaptic sensory neuron by (a) ablation; (b) silencing or activation; or (c) altering its location in the neuropil. From these experiments we conclude that there are two opposing mechanisms used to establish functional connectivity in the face of presynaptic variability: presynaptic contact stimulates dendrite outgrowth locally, whereas presynaptic activity inhibits postsynaptic dendrite outgrowth globally. These mechanisms are only active during an early larval critical period for structural plasticity. Collectively, our data provide new insights into dendrite development, identifying mechanisms that allow dendrites to flexibly respond to developmental variability in presynaptic location and input strength.