Steroids in teleost fishes: A functional point of view

Janina Tokarz, Gabriele Möller, Martin Hrabě De Angelis, Jerzy Adamski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Steroid hormones are involved in the regulation of a variety of processes like embryonic development, sex differentiation, metabolism, immune responses, circadian rhythms, stress response, and reproduction in vertebrates. Teleost fishes and humans show a remarkable conservation in many developmental and physiological aspects, including the endocrine system in general and the steroid hormone related processes in particular. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge about steroid hormone biosynthesis and the steroid hormone receptors in teleost fishes and compares the findings to the human system. The impact of the duplicated genome in teleost fishes on steroid hormone biosynthesis and perception is addressed. Additionally, important processes in fish physiology regulated by steroid hormones, which are most dissimilar to humans, are described. We also give a short overview on the influence of anthropogenic endocrine disrupting compounds on steroid hormone signaling and the resulting adverse physiological effects for teleost fishes. By this approach, we show that the steroidogenesis, hormone receptors, and function of the steroid hormones are reasonably well understood when summarizing the available data of all teleost species analyzed to date. However, on the level of a single species or a certain fish-specific aspect of physiology, further research is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-144
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocrine disruption
  • Nuclear receptor
  • Steroidogenesis


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