Involvement and expression of growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor member mRNAs in the ovarian development of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)

  • Yudong JiaEmail author
  • Qiqi Jing
  • Yunhong Gao
  • Bin Huang


Accumulating evidence suggests that the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system participates in fish reproduction. To understand the physiological functions of the GH/IGF system, the mRNA expression profiles of all known members of the GH/IGF system, including hepatic and ovarian gh, GH receptor (ghr), IGFs (igf-i, igf-ii), IGF-I receptor (igf-ir) and IGF binding protein (igfbp1, igfbp2), pituitary gh, and hepatic vitellogenin (vtg) were investigated during ovarian development in turbot Scophthalmus maximus. Results showed that ghr, igf-i, igf-ii, igf-ir, and igfbp2 were expressed in the liver and ovary, whereas igfbp1 and gh were undetected. The hepatosomatic index (HSI) and gonadosomatic index (GSI) gradually increased and peaked during the late vitellogenesis (Latvtg) and migratory nucleus (Mig-nucl) stages, respectively. The mRNA expression profiles of ovarian ghr, igf-ii, hepatic igf-ir, vtg, and pituitary gh were similar to the HSI; ovarian igf-i and igf-ir expression was close to the GSI. However, the hepatic mRNA levels of ghr, igf-i, and igf-ii peaked at the early vitellogenesis (Evtg) stage, and then drastically declined during ovarian development. The mRNA expression of hepatic igfbp2 decreased and reached the lowest at the atresia (Atre) stage, whereas that of ovarian igfbp2 increased and peaked at Latvtg stage. Furthermore, significant correlations between pituitary gh, ovarian ghr, igf-i, and igf-ii, and hepatic ghr, igf-i, igf-ir, and igf-ii were observed, respectively. These results suggest that GH/IGF members appear to play distinct roles in the regulation of ovarian development in turbot and will be valuable for fish reproduction and broodstock management of aqua-cultured fish species.


Growth hormone Insulin-like growth factors Ovarian development Turbot Scophthalmus maximus 



This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31302205), Shandong Major Science and Technology Innovation Projects (2018YFJH0703), and China Agriculture Research System (CARS-49-G24).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yudong Jia
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Qiqi Jing
    • 1
  • Yunhong Gao
    • 1
  • Bin Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao Key Laboratory for Marine Fish Breeding and BiotechnologyYellow Sea Fisheries Research InstituteQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production ProcessesQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina

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