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1 May 2001 Steroid Hormones Stimulate Gonadotrophs in Juvenile Male African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus)
J. E. B. Cavaco, J. van Baal, W. van Dijk, G. A. M. Hassing, H. J. Th Goos, R. W. Schulz
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In juvenile African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), the pituitary LH content strongly increased after the beginning of spermatogonial proliferation. We hypothesized that a signal of testicular origin is involved in stimulating the gonadotrophs. We investigated the effects of castration and sex steroid treatment on gonadotrophs in juvenile males by quantifying LH production and release and LH subunit transcript levels and by examining gonadotroph morphology and proliferation. Castration reduced but did not abolish the maturation-associated elevation in pituitary LH content. Treatment with testosterone but not with 11-ketotestosterone, an otherwise potent androgen in fish, reversed the castration-induced decrease of pituitary LH levels. An increased pituitary LH content was accompanied by an increased number of cytologically mature gonadotrophs. However, no evidence was found for gonadotroph proliferation, so that quiescent gonadotrophs may have become activated. Although 11-ketotestosterone treatments had no effect in castrated males, this androgen attenuated gonadotroph activation in intact males. Because androgen production in juvenile catfish is downregulated by treatment with 11-ketotestosterone, its inhibitory effects on gonadotrophs in gonad-intact males may be due to suppression of Leydig cell testosterone production, which appears to be a limiting factor for the activation of catfish gonadotrophs. Aromatizable androgens may have opposite effects on fish (stimulatory) and mammalian (inhibitory) gonadotrophs.

J. E. B. Cavaco, J. van Baal, W. van Dijk, G. A. M. Hassing, H. J. Th Goos, and R. W. Schulz "Steroid Hormones Stimulate Gonadotrophs in Juvenile Male African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus)," Biology of Reproduction 64(5), 1358-1365, (1 May 2001).
Received: 19 September 2000; Accepted: 1 December 2000; Published: 1 May 2001

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