Both oocyte maturation and ovulation is triggered by the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge in vertebrates, but exactly how these processes are regulated by LH remains to be fully elucidated. Previously, we found that Igf3, a fish-specific member of the igf family predominantly expressed in the gonads, could mediate the action of LH on oocyte maturation in zebrafish. Here, we further reveal the importance of Igf3 in mediating the action of LH on ovulation in zebrafish. All the four igf gene family members are expressed in the zebrafish ovary but only the igf3 transcript level is increased in hCG-induced ovulation in vivo. The expression of Igf3 protein in the follicles is also increased during ovulation. The actions of hCG on the expression of ovulatory enzymes and on ovulation itself could be largely mimicked by the recombinant zebrafish Igf3 protein. Intriguingly, the phosphorylation of Igf1r, the receptor for Igf3, could be activated by hCG in the follicular cells during ovulation. And inhibition of Igf3 signaling by Igf1r inhibitors and Igf3 antiserum could significantly attenuate the hCG-induced ovulation. Collectively, all these data support the notion that Igf3 serves as a mediator of LH action in zebrafish ovulation.
Igf3 could mediate the action of LH on ovulation in zebrafish.