Developing predictive approaches to characterize adaptive responses of the reproductive endocrine axis to aromatase inhibition: II. Computational modeling

Miyuki Breen, Daniel L. Villeneuve, Gerald T. Ankley, David C. Bencic, Michael S. Breen, Karen H. Watanabe, Alun L. Lloyd, Rory B. Conolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can affect reproduction and development in humans and wildlife. We developed a computational model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in female fathead minnows to predict dose-response and time-course (DRTC) behaviors for endocrine effects of the aromatase inhibitor, fadrozole (FAD). The model describes adaptive responses to endocrine stress involving regulated secretion of a generic gonadotropin (LH/FSH) from the hypothalamic-pituitary complex. For model development, we used plasma 17β-estradiol (E2) concentrations and ovarian cytochrome P450 (CYP) 19A aromatase mRNA data from two time-course experiments, each of which included both an exposure and a depuration phase, and plasma E2 data from a third 4-day study. Model parameters were estimated using E2 concentrations for 0, 0.5, and 3 μg/l FAD exposure concentrations, and good fits to these data were obtained. The model accurately predicted CYP19A mRNA fold changes for controls and three FAD doses (0, 0.5, and 3 μg/l) and plasma E2 dose response from the 4-day study. Comparing the model-predicted DRTC with experimental data provided insight into how the feedback control mechanisms in the HPG axis mediate these changes: specifically, adaptive changes in plasma E2 levels occurring during exposure and "overshoot" occurring postexposure. This study demonstrates the value of mechanistic modeling to examine and predict dynamic behaviors in perturbed systems. As this work progresses, we will obtain a refined understanding of how adaptive responses within the vertebrate HPG axis affect DRTC behaviors for aromatase inhibitors and other types of endocrine-active chemicals and apply that knowledge in support of risk assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-247
Number of pages14
JournalToxicological Sciences
Volume133
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Biological modeling
  • Biomarkers
  • Dose response
  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Nonmammalian species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

Cite this

Breen, M., Villeneuve, D. L., Ankley, G. T., Bencic, D. C., Breen, M. S., Watanabe, K. H., Lloyd, A. L., & Conolly, R. B. (2013). Developing predictive approaches to characterize adaptive responses of the reproductive endocrine axis to aromatase inhibition: II. Computational modeling. Toxicological Sciences, 133(2), 234-247. https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kft067