Differential responses of female and male brains to hypoxia in the marine medaka Oryzias melastigma

Keng-Po LAI, Jing-Woei LI, Anna Chung-Kwan TSE, Simon Yuan WANG, Ting-Fung CHAN, Shiu Sun Rudolf WU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Hypoxia, an endocrine disruptor, affects synthesis and balance of sex steroid hormones, leading to reproductive impairment in both female and male fish. Cumulating reports demonstrated the alternation of hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis (HPG-axis) by hypoxia. However, the detail mechanism underlying how hypoxia may alter other brain functions remains largely unknown. In this report, we used marine medaka as a model and conducted a high-throughput RNA sequencing followed by bioinformatics analysis on hypoxia-exposed brain tissues, aiming to determine the change of transcriptional signature and to unravel the pathways that are induced by hypoxia. We found that hypoxia lead to dysregulation of brain functions (including synaptic transmission, axon guidance, potassium ion transport, neuron differentiation, and development of brain and pituitary gland), and also signaling pathways (e.g., gap junction, calcium signaling pathway, and GnRH signaling pathway). Our results further demonstrate gender-specific responses to hypoxia in female and male fish’s brains, which provides novel insights into the mechanism underlying the hypoxia induced sex specific brain functions impairments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Early online date24 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


Brain Hypoxia
Endocrine Disruptors
High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
Calcium Signaling
Gap Junctions
Ion Transport
Gonadal Steroid Hormones
Pituitary Gland
Computational Biology
Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
Synaptic Transmission


Lai, K.-P., Li, J.-W., Tse, A. C.-K., Wang, S. Y., Chan, T.-F. & Wu, R. S.-S. (2016). Differential responses of female and male brains to hypoxia in the marine medaka Oryzias melastigma. Aquatic Toxicology, 172, 36-43. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.12.016.


  • Brain
  • Transcriptome
  • Hypoxia
  • Medaka
  • Synaptic transmission