A Review on the Effects of Endocrine Disruptors on the Interaction between HPG, HPT, and HPA Axes in Fish

내분비계 장애물질이 어류의 HPG, HPT, HPA 축에 미치는 연계영향

  • Jang, Sol (Department of Environmental Health, Graduate School of Yongin University) ;
  • Ji, Kyunghee (Department of Environmental Health, Graduate School of Yongin University)
  • 장솔 (용인대학교 일반대학원 환경보건학과) ;
  • 지경희 (용인대학교 일반대학원 환경보건학과)
  • Received : 2015.05.04
  • Accepted : 2015.06.26
  • Published : 2015.06.28


Objectives: The objective of this review was to summarize the primary role of three representative endocrine axes in aquatic vertebrates and discuss the effects on endocrine systems and their interactions in teleost fish after exposure to environmental contaminants. Methods: We summarized individual traits and mechanisms for hormonal and transcriptional interactions between the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG), hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT), and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes in fish. We also provided a brief discussion on the effects of nonylphenol-induced toxicity on endocrine systems and their interactions in fish as a demonstration of holistic explanation. Results: Currently-available data showed that thyroid dysfunction is associated with reproductive toxicity due to changes in steroidogenic gene expressions and sex hormone levels as well as gonad glands in fish. As an example, we demonstrated that exposure to nonylphenol could induce estrogenicity in male fish by decreasing thyroid hormones, which contributes to increased aromatase expression. Although the mechanisms are complicated and involved in multiple ways, a number of studies have shown that sex steroids influence the HPT axis or the HPA axis in fish, indicating bi-directional crosstalk. Critically missing is information on the primary target or toxicity mechanisms of environmental contaminants among the three endocrine axes, so further studies are needed to explore those possibilities. Conclusions: This review highlights the interactions between the HPG, HPT, and HPA axes in fish in order to better understand how these endocrine systems could interact with each other in situations of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.



Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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