Effects of pre- and postnatal exposure to flutamide on connexin 43 expression in testes and ovaries of prepubertal pigs
AbstractThe aim of this study was to show whether the connexin43 (Cx43) expression in gonads is affected by an anti-androgen action. To test this, pigs were prenatally (on gestational days 20-28 and 80-88; GD20, GD80), and postnatally (on days 2-10 after birth; PD2) exposed to flutamide that was given in five doses, every second day and its effect was observed in prepubertal gilts and boars. Morphology and expression of Cx43 was investigated in testes and ovaries by means of routine histology, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, and RT-PCR, respectively. Qualitative analysis of immunohistochemical staining for Cx43 was confirmed by quantitative image analysis in which the staining intensity was expressed as relative optical density of diaminobenzidine deposits. There were statistically significant differences in Cx43 signal intensity between interstitial tissue of control and GD20 pigs (**p less than 0.01), between seminiferous tubules of control and PD2 boars (**p less than 0.01), between granulosa cells of preantral follicles of control and GD20 and PD2 pigs (**p less than 0.01 and *p less than 0.05, respectively), and between theca cells of control and GD80 and PD2 gilts (**p less than 0.01). In Western blotting Cx43 appeared as a band of 43 kDa, whereas the size of the PCR-amplified product was 232 bp in all gonad tissue samples. Since we demonstrated changes in gonad morphology and in the expression of Cx43 at the level of protein of prepubertal boars and gilts, it seems possible that flutamide through blocking androgen action, causes delayed gonadal maturation in later postnatal life and, among other factors, may be involved in the regulation of Cx43 gene expression in pig gonads.
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Copyright (c) 2010 I. Kopera, M. Durlej, A. Hejmej, K. Knapczyk-Stwora, M. Duda, M. Slomczynska, M. Koziorowski, B. Bilinska
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