Fertility impairment with defective spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis in male zebrafish lacking androgen receptor

Tang, H., Chen, Y., Wang, L., Yin, Y., Li, G., Guo, Y., Liu, Y., Lin, H., Cheng, C.H.K., Liu, X.
Biology of reproduction   98(2): 227-238 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Liu, Xiaochun
fertility, ndrogen receptor, spermatogenesis, steroidogenesis, zebrafish
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Estradiol/metabolism
  • Fertility/genetics*
  • Infertility, Male/genetics*
  • Infertility, Male/metabolism
  • Luteinizing Hormone, beta Subunit/metabolism
  • Male
  • Receptors, Androgen/genetics*
  • Receptors, Androgen/metabolism
  • Sertoli Cells/metabolism
  • Spermatogenesis/genetics*
  • Testis/metabolism
  • Testosterone/analogs & derivatives
  • Testosterone/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
29228103 Full text @ Biol. Reprod.
The pivotal role of androgen receptor (AR) in regulating male fertility has attracted much research attention in the past two decades. Previous studies have shown that total androgen receptor knockout would lead to incomplete spermatogenesis and a lowered serum testosterone levels in mice, resulting in azoospermia and infertility. However, the precise physiological role of ar in controlling fertility of male fish is still poorly understood. In this study, we have established an ar knockout zebrafish line by transcription activator-like effectors nucleases (TALENs). Homozygous ar mutant male fish with smaller testis size were found to be infertile when tested by natural mating. Intriguingly, a small amount of mature spermatozoa was observed in the ar mutant fish. These mature spermatozoa could fertilize healthy oocytes, albeit with a lower fertilization rate, by in vitro fertilization. Moreover, the expression levels of most steroidogenic genes in the testes were significantly elevated in the ar mutants. In contrast, the levels of estradiol and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) were significantly decreased in the ar mutants, indicating that steroidogenesis was defective in the mutants. Furthermore, the protein level of LHβ in the serum decreased markedly in the ar mutants when compared with wild-type fish, probably due to the positive feedback from the diminished steroid hormone levels. In summary, our results provided unequivocal in vivo evidence for the requirement of functional ar in maintaining normal spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis, in ensuring normal fertility in male zebrafish.
Genes / Markers
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Mutation and Transgenics
Human Disease / Model Data
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes
Errata and Notes