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Androstenedione and 17α-methyltestosterone induce early ovary development of Anguilla japonica

Lai, Xiao-Jian, Li, Zhong-Qin, Xie, Yang-Jie, Chen, Shi-Xi, Wang, Yi-Lei
Theriogenology 2018 v.120 pp. 16-24
Anguilla japonica, androstenedione, animal ovaries, blood serum, body weight, brain, diet, droplets, eel, females, freshwater, gonadotropin release, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, liver, messenger RNA, methyltestosterone, oils, oocytes, ovarian development, seawater, vitellogenesis, vitellogenin
Endocrine effects as 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), an unaromatizable androgen, regulating the follicles growth in the previtellogenic stage of eel reproduction have been widely elucidated. However, the influence of aromatizable androgens on the brain-pituitary-gonad axis during oogenesis in A. japonica has not been clearly elaborated. In the study, androstenedione (AD) and 17α-methyltestosterone (MT) were employed together to induce ovary development of seven-year-old female Anguilla japonica through feeding or exposure in the migration season. After female A. japonica had been fed with commercial diet containing 5 mg AD and MT kg d−1 body weight respectively for 45 d in fresh water (Trial I), the development of oocytes still remained at the oil droplet stage, but the GSI and follicle diameter increased significantly. The serum 11-KT level and expression of liver vitellogenin mRNA were significantly elevated. After female fish had been exposed to seawater containing 50 μg L−1 AD and MT respectively for 45 d (Trial II), the ovaries of A. japonica almost reached midvitellogenic stage and the GSI and follicle diameter increased significantly. Yolk granular layer was observed in the peripheral ooplasm. The serum 11-KT level maintained consistently low, and the serum E2 level declined significantly to a relatively low level. The expression levels of ovarian arα and cyp19a1, brain (with pituitary together) mGnRH and lhβ increased significantly. The results showed that A. japonica in Trial II appeared a higher ovarian development than those in Trial I. These findings indicated that AD and MT increased the oil droplet and enlarged follicle diameter in previtellogenic stage, while the vitellogenesis and gonadotropin release did not occur in Trial I. In Trial II, AD and MT promoted vitellogenesis by stimulating the ovary expression of arα and by up-regulating brain mGnRH and pituitary lhβ expression.