N-Nitrosodiethylamine (DEN), a well-known hepatocarcinogen, is found in certain food products as such or as a metabolic byproduct. This study investigated the effects of DEN on sexual development, gametogenesis, and oocyte maturation in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). DEN reduced the germ cell number dose-dependently during early stages of sexual differentiation in XX larvae, resulting in underdeveloped ovaries in adulthood at low doses. This effect was sex-specific as no such changes were seen in XY larvae. Furthermore, XX and XY larvae that were exposed at a low dose during early life showed a significant reduction in body weight in adulthood. Gonads in sexually immature adult medaka males and females exposed to DEN were in advanced stages in comparison to that of the controls. Gonado-somatic indices were significantly high in treated males and females. DEN induced oocyte maturation in vitro, which was inhibited by cordycepin, demonstrating that it stimulated oocyte maturation through polyadenylation of cyclin B mRNA as in the case of the endogenous maturation-inducing hormone. Altogether, our results have proven that DEN could disrupt or mimic the signaling pathways involved in germ cell development, proliferation, and maturation.
Dr. Bindhu Paul, Nair, R., Victor, A. C., and Paul-Prasanth, B., “Effects of N-Nitrosodiethylamine, a Potent Carcinogen, on Sexual Development, Gametogenesis, and Oocyte Maturation”, Sexual Development, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 161-167, 2017.