Brain Aromatase in Fishes: Historical Perspective and Comparative Approaches

Gloria V. Callard, Sarah R. Greytak, Apolonia Novillo, Kellie A. Cotter and Rebecca K. Meyer

in Brain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841196
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979837 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

Brain Aromatase in Fishes: Historical Perspective and Comparative Approaches

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The ability to convert androgens to estrogens is an ancient and highly conserved characteristic of the vertebrate brain but is lacking in amphioxus and all other invertebrates, indicating that a functional form of the enzyme first evolved in the brain of a basal jawed vertebrate (∼400 million years ago, mya), not long after its origin in the urogenital ridge of a common vertebrate ancestor (∼500 mya). This chapter reviews the history of fishes in brain aromatase research, specifically, their utility as laboratory models for advancing our understanding of the basic biology of neural aromatase; and the applicability of the predominant brain form of aromatase in fishes as a biomarker of general reproductive health and an indicator of pollutants in the natural environment.

Keywords: aromatases; CYP19A; CYP19B; estrogen synthesis; fishes

Chapter.  12297 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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