, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 159-166

Plasma Sex Steroid Levels and Steroidogenesis in the Gonad of the Self-fertilizing Fish Rivulus marmoratus

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Synopsis

The mangrove killifish, Rivulus marmoratus, is the only known self-fertilizing vertebrate. This species is sexually dimorphic; sexually mature individuals are either hermaphrodite or primary and secondary males. Although the mangrove killifish has a unique reproductive strategy, there has been no study on the reproductive endocrinology of this species. Thus we investigated plasma sex steroid hormone levels and steroidogenesis in the gonads of R. marmoratus by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Plasma 17β-estradiol (E2) and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) were detected both in hermaphrodite and in primary male. Ovarian follicles (follicle-enclosed oocytes) from hermaphrodites, which were categorized into early yolk stage and late yolk stage, and testis tissue of primary males were cultured with different concentrations of 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (OHP) or testosterone (T) for 24 h. Production of T, E2, 11-KT and 17α-20 β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17α,20β-P) in the medium from tissue culture were measured by ELISA. Early and late ovarian follicles of hermaphrodites and testis pieces of primary males synchronously secreted E2, 11-KT, and 17α,20β-P following incubation with OHP or T. We conclude that both hermaphrodite and primary male of the mangrove killifish secrete estrogen, androgen, and progestin synchronously.