The synthetic progestin norethindrone causes thyroid endocrine disruption in adult zebrafish
Synthetic progestin norethindrone (NET) widely used in oral contraceptives, hormonal therapy and livestock farming has been detected in various aquatic ecosystems. Recent studies have shown that NET can cause thyroid endocrine disruption in amphibians. However, studies are still lacking on thyroid axis of fish. In the present study, we investigated thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4) and transcriptional patterns of 15 genes of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT axis) in adult zebrafish that were exposed to solvent control and three measured concentrations of NET (7, 84 and 810 ng/L) for 90 days. The results indicated that NET significantly lowered T3 and T4 levels in both female and male zebrafish. Transcriptional expression profiles of some of the HPT-axis related genes were disrupted. Specifically, the expression levels of tshb and pax8 have increased significantly while dio2 and ugt1ab have decreased in females. In male, however, tshb expression levels were increased while ttr, ugt1ab, thra and thrb were decreased. The overall results demonstrate that NET disrupts thyroid endocrine system by interfering at multiple sites along HPT axis in adult zebrafish.
Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2020 Oct;236:108819. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2020.108819. Epub 2020 Jun 5. PMID: 32512198.