The involvement of individual molecular forms of GnRH in the regulation of reproductive cyclicity in a viviparous marine teleost, the grass rockfish (Sebastes rastrelliger), was evaluated by relating the brain and pituitary content of the neuropeptide to reproductive status. The presence of sea bream (sb) GnRH, chicken GnRH-II, and salmon GnRH in the brain was confirmed by their elution pattern on HPLC and RIA. In addition, HPLC elution profiles suggest that there may be a fourth form of GnRH. All forms of GnRH were found in male and female brains in all reproductive conditions. However, only sbGnRH could be detected in appreciable amounts in the pituitary. Of the four forms of GnRH found in the rockfish, only sbGnRH fluctuated during the reproductive cycle and large accumulations were detected in the brains and pituitaries of postspawn females and regressed males. The accumulation of sbGnRH at the end of the reproductive cycle is suggested to reflect a decline in GnRH secretion relative to synthesis. The dominance of sbGnRH in the pituitary and its individual fluctuation in relation to seasonal changes in reproductive status suggests that sbGnRH is an important regulator of gonadotropin-mediated reproductive activity in rockfish.
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