Plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 is unrelated to female reproductive development in a wild population of Dolly Varden charr Salvelinus malma (Walbaum, 1792)

  • James J. NaglerEmail author
  • Peter Bangs
  • Lea Medeiros
  • Andrew Pierce


Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are endocrine agents that signal growth in fishes. Because of the interplay between growth and reproduction, endocrine control of the growth axis is thought to have a connection to the reproductive axis. Seasonal patterns and relationships between IGF-1, fish condition, and gonadal development were investigated in a wild population of female Dolly Varden charr Salvelinus malma (Walbaum, 1792) during the summer growing season prior to spawning. Fish were sampled from Florence Lake, Alaska on five sequential sampling trips during April–October 2006. Body and gonad morphometric measurements, and blood plasma samples were obtained for IGF-I quantification. IGF-I increased during summer with fish condition. The gonadosomatic index indicated a pattern of advancing reproductive development in one cohort of fish by August, which indicated impending spawning compared to an immature (non-reproductive) cohort. However, plasma IGF-I levels were not predictive of the sexually maturing cohort. We conclude that IGF-I is not a useful endocrine marker of advancing reproductive state in female Dolly Varden charr but does relate to fish condition during the summer growth period.


Fish IGF-1 Endocrine Ovary Sex 



This study was supported in part by the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

Supplementary material

10750_2018_3866_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 21 kb)


  1. Beaudreau, A. H., K. S. Andrews, D. A. Larsen, G. Young & B. R. Beckman, 2011. Variation in plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in lingcod: relationships among season, size, and gonadal steroids. Marine Biology 158: 439–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bond, M. H., B. R. Beckman, L. Rohrbach & T. P. Quinn, 2014. Differential growth in estuarine and freshwater habitats indicated by plasma IGF1 concentrations and otolith chemistry in Dolly Varden Salvelinus malma. Journal of Fish Biology 85: 1429–1445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Campbell, B., J. T. Dickey & P. Swanson, 2003. Endocrine changes during onset of puberty in male spring Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Biology of Reproduction 69: 2109–2117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Campbell, B., J. Dickey, B. Beckman, G. Young, A. Pierce, H. Fukada & P. Swanson, 2006. Previtellogenic oocyte growth in salmon: relationships among body growth, plasma insulin-like growth factor I, estradiol-17beta, follicle-stimulating hormone and expression of ovarian genes for insulin-like growth factors, steroidogenic-acute regulatory protein and receptors for gonadotropins, growth hormone, and somatolactin. Biology of Reproduction 75: 34–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Duan, C., 1997. The insulin-like growth factor system and its biological actions in fish. Integrative and Comparative Biology 37: 491–503.Google Scholar
  6. Frantzen, M., B. Damsgård, H. Tveiten, S. Moriyama, M. Iwata & H. K. Johnsen, 2004. Effects of fasting on temporal changes in plasma concentrations of sex steroids, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor I, and reproductive investment in Arctic charr. Journal of Fish Biology 65: 1526–1542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hevroy, E. M., C. Hunskar, S. de Gelder, M. Shimizu, R. Waagbo, O. Breck, H. Takle, S. Sussort & T. Hansen, 2013. GH-IGF system regulation of attenuated muscle growth and lipolysis in Atlantic salmon reared at elevated sea temperatures. Journal of Comparative Physiology, Part B 183: 243–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Li, J., Z. Liu, D. Wang & C. H. K. Cheng, 2011. Insulin-like growth factor 3 is involved in oocyte maturation in zebrafish. Biology of Reproduction 84: 476–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Onuma, T. A., K. Makino, H. Katsumata, B. R. Beckman, M. Ban, H. Ando, M. Fukuwaka, T. Azumaya, P. Swanson & A. Urano, 2010. Changes in the plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor-I from the onset of spawning migration through upstream migration in chum salmon. General and Comparative Endocrinology 165: 237–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Reindl, K. M. & M. A. Sheridan, 2012. Peripheral regulation of the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor system in fish and other vertebrates. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A 163: 231–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Reinecke, M., 2010. Insulin-like growth factors and fish reproduction. Biology of Reproduction 82: 656–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Shimizu, M. & W. W. Dickhoff, 2017. Circulating insulin-like growth factor binding proteins in fish: their identities and physiological regulation. General and Comparative Endocrinology 252: 150–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Shimizu, M., P. Swanson, H. Fukada, A. Hara & W. W. Dickhoff, 2000. Comparison of extraction methods and assay validation for salmon insulin-like growth factor-I using commercially available components. General and Comparative Endocrinology 119: 26–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Silverstein, J. T., K. D. Shearer, W. W. Dickhoff & E. M. Plisetskaya, 1998. Effects of growth and fatness on sexual development of chinook salmon parr. Canadian Journal Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55: 2376–2382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Small, B. C. & B. C. Peterson, 2005. Establishment of a time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay for measuring plasma insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) in fish: effect of fasting on plasma concentrations and tissue mRNA expression of IGF-I and growth hormone (GH) in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Domestic Animal Endocrinology 28: 202–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Taylor, J. F., M. J. R. Porter, N. R. Bromage & H. Migaud, 2008. Relationships between environmental changes, maturity, growth rate and plasma insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). General and Comparative Endocrinology 155: 257–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wood, A. W., C. Duan & H. A. Bern, 2005. Insulin-like growth factor signaling in fish. International Review of Cytology 243: 215–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Reproductive BiologyUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA
  2. 2.Alaska Department of Fish and GameDivision of Sport FishJuneauUSA
  3. 3.Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish CommissionPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations