Journal Article

MiR-7 Mediates the Zearalenone Signaling Pathway Regulating FSH Synthesis and Secretion by Targeting FOS in Female Pigs

Jing He, Jinglin Zhang, Yue Wang, Weiquan Liu, Kemian Gou, Zongping Liu and Sheng Cui

in Endocrinology

Published on behalf of Endocrine Society

Volume 159, issue 8, pages 2993-3006
ISSN: 0013-7227
Published online May 2018 | e-ISSN: 1945-7170 | DOI:

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  • Medicine and Health
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  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Medical Oncology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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Zearalenone (ZEA) acts as an environmental endocrine disruptor (EED) to cause health detriments. miRNAs were reported to influence the synthesis and secretion of pituitary hormones. However, the interactions between ZEA and miRNAs and related mechanisms remain unclear. The aims of this study were to determine whether and how miR-7 affects animal reproduction by its interactions with ZEA in the pig pituitary, which is sensitive to ZEA and has been used as an important animal model in medical research. Expressions of miRNA were detected by real-time PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. The effects of ZEA, miR-7, and their interactions in the pituitary gland were identified by using an ovariectomized pig model, transfecting miR-7 mimics and inhibitor, radioimmunoassay, luciferase reporter assay, and Western blotting. The ZEA dosage was 7.5 mg/kg body weight in vivo and 1 μM in vitro. Our results demonstrate miR-7 acts to regulate gonadotropin synthesis and secretion. Furthermore, we found that ZEA leads to reproductive defects by enhancing miR-7 expression, which subsequently inhibits FSH synthesis and secretion. In vitro and in vivo experiments revealed that the effects of ZEA rely on G protein–coupled estrogen receptor 1, and miR-7 functions by mediating ZEA signaling pathway and targeting the Finkel-Biskis-Jinkins murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog (FOS) gene. These findings show that miRNAs are key intrinsic factors regulating pituitary gonadotropins by mediating EED signaling in pituitary glands, and the actions of miRNAs and EEDs should be seriously considered in related studies about medical practice and animal production.

Journal Article.  7635 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medicine and Health ; Clinical Medicine ; Endocrinology and Diabetes ; Medical Oncology ; Reproductive Medicine

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