The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of letrozole (a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor) on masculinization of Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). Different doses of letrozole 50, 100, 150 and 200 ppm (mg/kg feed) were incorporated into diet and fed for periods of 30, 40 or 50 days. Immersion treatment of letrozole at selected doses (250, 500, 750 and 1,000?g/l) for 3 h each on third, fifth and eighth day-post-hatching (dph) (Trial 1) and fourth, sixth and eighth dph (Trial 2) was given.The oral administration of letrozole for 30, 40 or 50 days did not have any significant effect on the sex ratio of B. splendens. The immersion treatment of letrozole induced 100% masculinization at 500 and 1000?g/l in trial 1, while it yielded only 66.66 and 90% male population at 500 and 1000 ?g/l in Trial 2. The dietary administration of letrozole for 30 and 50 days caused tail deformities and/or rudimentary and absence of dorsal fin. The progeny testing of males from letrozole treated (both oral and immersion) groups indicate that the sex ratio of progenies of each of the males tested did not differ significantly from that of control, indicating that all those males carried XY genotype. Letrozole treatments suppressed ovarian development (atretic oocytes were common). However, the testicular development was unaffected. The study revealed that immersion treatment of letrozole was more effective in inducing masculinization of B. splendens than the oral administration of letrozole.
Aromatase inhibitor, Deformity, Fighting fish, Masculinization, Histology
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