Chapter

Multiple Forms of Aromatase in Suiformes: Tissue Distribution, Regulation, and Functional Significance

Alan Conley, Veronica N. Orr, Brian C. Trainor, Trish Berger and Austin Hughes

in Brain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841196
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979837 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841196.003.0004

Series: Oxford Series in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

Multiple Forms of Aromatase in Suiformes: Tissue Distribution, Regulation, and Functional Significance

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Pigs have three CYP19 genes encoding functional paralogues of aromatase cytochrome P450 expressed tissue specifically in the gonads/hypothalamus, placenta, and preimplantation blastocyst. Gene duplication is predicted to have relaxed selection pressure and allowed evolution of enzyme function. All isozymes catalyze estrogen synthesis. However, the “gonadal/hypothalamic” form (ghP450arom) is unique among mammalian aromatases in also synthesizing a nonaromatizable, biopotent testosterone metabolite, 1OH-testosterone (1OH-T) that is hypothesized to have promoted increased ovulation rate and litter size. High ghP450arom expression in porcine testis facilitates study of differential regulation in hypothalamus and gonads that is not possible in other species. These, the first such studies in pig brain, demonstrate unusual aspects of P450arom expression and regulation in the hypothalamus, offering promise of gaining better insight into roles of P450arom in reproductive function.

Keywords: aromatase; domestic pig; evolution; gene duplication; gonads; hypothalamus; placenta; reproductive function; suiforme

Chapter.  10291 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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