Pubertal sexual development and endpoints for disrupted spermatogenesis in the model Xenopus tropicalis.

Svanholm S, Roza M, Marini D, Brouard V, Karlsson O, Berg C

Reprod. Toxicol. 120 (-) 108435 [2023-09-00; online 2023-07-01]

Peripubertal models to determine effects of anti-androgenic endocrine disrupting chemicals are needed. Using the toxicological model species Xenopus tropicalis, the aims of the study were to 1) provide data on sexual maturation and 2) characterise effects of short-term exposure to an anti-androgenic model substance. Juvenile (2.5 weeks post metamorphosis old) X. tropicalis were exposed to 0, 250, 500 or 1000 µg flutamide/L (nominal) for 2.5 weeks. Upon exposure termination, histology of gonads and Müllerian ducts was characterised in detail. New sperm stages were identified: pale and dark spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). The testes of control males contained spermatozoa, indicating pubertal onset. The ovaries were immature, and composed of non-follicular and pre-vitellogenic follicular oocytes. The Müllerian ducts were more mature in females than males indicating development/regression in the females and males, respectively. In the 500 µg/L group, the number of dark SSCs per testis area was decreased and the number of secondary spermatogonia was increased. No treatment effects on ovaries or Müllerian ducts were detected. To conclude, our present data provide new knowledge on spermatogenesis, and pubertal onset in X. tropicalis. New endpoints for evaluating spermatogenesis are suggested to be added to existing assays used in endocrine and reproductive toxicology.

Oskar Karlsson

SciLifeLab Fellow

PubMed 37400040

DOI 10.1016/j.reprotox.2023.108435

Crossref 10.1016/j.reprotox.2023.108435

pii: S0890-6238(23)00109-0

Publications 9.5.0