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Keywords:

  • Tetrahymena;
  • steroid hormones;
  • hormone induction;
  • hormonal imprinting;
  • aromatase

After cyclodextrin-coated 10−6m steroid hormone treatment for 3 days (hormonal imprinting), Tetrahymena cells and their media were analysed by radioimmunoassay for the same hormone and for the presence of the other two. In the absence of hormone treatment, the cells contained no detectable levels of the three steroids. By 2 days in fresh medium following exposure of cells to a 72h pretreatment of each specific hormone, correspondingly high quantities of hydrocortisone and oestradiol, but lesser quantities of testosterone, were found in both the media and the cells. One week after treatment only traces of hydrocortisone were found, exclusively within the cells themselves. Oestradiol was present in measurable quantities in both cells and media, whereas testosterone was only present in the medium. The presence of the other two hormones to the one used in the pretreatment were not usually present, except that when testosterone had been given, some oestradiol was also detected at 48h, suggesting Tetrahymena has a functional cytochrome P450aromatase.