Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 9, Issue 5–6, pp 473–485 | Cite as

Role of thyroid hormones in tilapia larvae (Oreochromis mossambicus): I. Effects of the hormones and an antithyroid drug on yolk absorption, growth and development

  • P. K. Reddy
  • T. J. Lam


Treatment of one-day old yolksac larvae of tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) by immersion in 0.05 ppm T4 or 0.01 ppm T3 significantly accelerated the differentiation and growth of all the fins, particularly pectoral and tail fins. Both the treatments also significantly accelerated yolk absorption and transition to free-swimming activity in the larvae. The treatments also significantly accelerated the growth of the larvae, with T3 at 0.01 ppm having a greater effect than T4 at 0.05 ppm. The yolk conversion efficiency was found not to be significantly affected by the hormone treatments but the treated larvae exhibited an increased heart beat, suggesting metabolic stimulation by the hormones.

On the other hand, yolk absorption and free-swimming activity were significantly delayed in tilapia larvae immersed in 25 ppm solution of an antithyroid drug, phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). PTC also retarded the growth of the larvae. T4 (0.05 and 0.10 ppm) or T3 (0.01 and 0.02 ppm) therapy removed the PTC-inhibition,albeit not completely, suggesting that thyroid hormones are involved in the larval growth and development of tilapia.


tyroid hormones antithyroid drug yolk absorption heart rate larval growth development tilapia 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Ali, M.A. 1961. Effect of thyroxine plus thiourea on the early development of chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta). Nature, Lond. 191: 1214–1215.Google Scholar
  2. Belsare, D.K., Zargar, V.N. and Verma, S.M. 1966. The effect of thiourea and thyroxine on the developing larvae ofChanna punctatus. Zool. Pol. 16: 149–153.Google Scholar
  3. Bern, H.A. 1978. Endocrinological studies on normal and abnormal salmon smoltification.In Comparative Endocrinology. pp. 97–100. Edited by J. Gaillard and H.H. Boer. Elsevier/North Holland Biochemical Press, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, C.L., Doroshov, S.I., Nunez, J.M., Hadley, C., Vaneenennaam, J., Nishioka, R.S. and Bern, H.A. 1988. Maternal triiodothyronine injections cause increases in swimbladder inflation and survival rates in larval striped bass,Morone saxatilis. J. Exp. Zool. 248: 168–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, C.L., Doroshov, S.I., Cochran, D.M. and Bern, H.A. 1989. Enhanced survival in striped bass fingerlings after maternal triiodothyronine treatment. Fish Physiol. Biochem. 7: 295–299.Google Scholar
  6. Dales, S. and Hoar, W.S. 1954. Effects of thyroxine and thiourea on the early development of chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta). Can. J. Zool. 32: 244–251.Google Scholar
  7. Darling, D.S., Dickhoff, W.W. and Gorbman, A. 1982. Comparison of thyroid hormone binding to hepatic nuclei in a rat and a teleost (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Endocrinology 111: 1936–1943.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Degani, G. and Dosoretz, C. 1986. The effect of 3,3,5′-triiodo-L-thyronine and 17α-methylestosterone on growth and body composition of the glass stage of the eel (Anguilla anguilla L). Fish Physiol. Biochem. 1: 145–151.Google Scholar
  9. Dickhoff, W.W., Folmar, L.C. and Gorbman, A. 1978. Changes in plasma thyroxine during smoltification of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 36: 229–232.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Donaldson, E.M., Fagerlund, U.H.M., Higgs, D.A. and McBride, J.R. 1979. Hormonal enhancement of growth in fish.In Fish Physiology. Vol. 8, pp. 455–597. Edited by W.S. Hoar, D.J. Randall and J. Brett. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Eales, J.G. 1981. Extrathyroidal effects of low concentrations of thiourea on rainbow trout,Salmo gairdneri. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 38: 1283–1285.Google Scholar
  12. Eberhardt, N.L., Apriletti, J.W. and Baxter, J.D. 1980. The molecular biology of thyroid hormone action.In Biochemical Actions of Hormones. Vol. 7, pp. 311–394. Edited by G. Litwack. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Galton, V.A. 1984. Putative nuclear triiodothyronine receptors in tadpole erythrocytes: Regulation of receptor number by thyroid hormone. Endocrinology 114: 735–742.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Galton, V.A. 1986. Thyroxine and 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine bind to the same putative receptor in hepatic nuclei ofRana catesbeina tadpoles. Endocrinology 118: 1114–1118.Google Scholar
  15. Ganong, W.F. 1981. Review of Medical Physiology. Lange Medical Publications, Los Aramos.Google Scholar
  16. Gorbman, A. 1969. Thyroid function and its control in fishes.In Fish Physiology. Vol. 2, pp. 241–274. Edited by W.S. Hoar and D.J. Randall. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Higgs, D.A., Fagerlund, U.H.M., Eales, J.G. and McBride, J.R. 1982. Application of thyroid and steroid hormones as anabolic agents in fish culture. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 73B: 143–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Higgs, D.A., Fagerlund, U.H.M., McBride, J.R. and Eales, J.G. 1979. Influence of orally administered L-thyroxine or 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine on growth, food consumption and food conversion of underyearling coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Can. J. Zool. 57: 1974–1979.Google Scholar
  19. Hirata, Y., Kurokura, H. and Kasahara, S. 1989. Effects of thyroxine and thiourea on the development of larval red sea bream,Pagrus major. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 55: 1189–1195.Google Scholar
  20. Hoar, W.S. 1976. Smolt transformation: evolution, behavior and physiology. J. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. 33: 1233–1252.Google Scholar
  21. Honma, Y. and Murakawa, S. 1955. Effects of thyroxine and thiourea on the development of chum salmon larvae. Jap. J. Ichthyol. 4: 83–93.Google Scholar
  22. Inui, Y. and Miwa, S. 1985. Thyroid hormone induces metamorphosis of flounder larvae. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 60: 450–454.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Lam, T.J. 1980. Thyroxine induces larval development and survival inSarotherodon (Tilapia) mossambicus Ruppel. Aquaculture 21: 287–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lam, T.J. 1985. Role of thyroid hormone on larval growth and development in fish.In Current Trends in Comparitive Endocrinology. pp. 481–490. Edited by B. Lofts and W.N. Holmes. Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  25. Lam, T.J. and Sharma, R. 1985. Effects of salinity and thyroxine on larval survival, growth and development in the carp,Cyprinus carpio. Aquaculture 44: 201–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lam, T.J., Juario, J.V. and Banno, J. 1985. Effect of thyroxine on growth and development in post-yolksac larvae of milkfish,Chanos chanos. Aquaculture 46: 179–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lanzing, W.J.R. 1984. Melanogenesis in normal and phenylthiourea-treated eggs and larvae ofSarotherodon aureus. J. Fish Biol. 24: 273–280.Google Scholar
  28. Leatherland, J.F. 1985. Studies of the correlation between stress-response, osmoregulation and thyroid physiology in rainbow trout,Salmo gairdneri (Richardson). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 80A: 523–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Madsen, S.S. 1989. Extrathyroidal effects of thiourea treatment in rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) rapidly transferred from fresh water to diluted sea-water. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 94A: 277–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Milne, R.S. and Leatherland, J.F. 1978. Effects of ovine TSH, thiourea, ovine prolactin and bovine growth hormone on plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine levels in rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri). J. Comp. Physiol. 124: 105–110.Google Scholar
  31. Miwa, S. and Inui, Y. 1983. Effects of thyroxine and thiourea on the parr-smolt transformation of amago salmon (Oncorhynchus rhodurus). Bull. Nat. Res. Inst. Aquaculture 4: 41–52.Google Scholar
  32. Miwa, S. and Inui, Y. 1987. Effect of various doses of thyroxine and triiodothyronine on the metamorphosis of flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus). Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 67: 356–363.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Mountcastle, V.B. 1980. Medical Physiology. C.V. Mosby, St. Louis.Google Scholar
  34. Munro, A.D. 1984. The ontogeny of the retina and optic tectum inAequidens portalegrensis (Hensel). J. Fish Biol. 24: 377–393.Google Scholar
  35. Nacario, J.F. 1983. The effect of thyroxine on the larvae and fry ofSarotherodon niloticus L. (Tilapia nilotica). Aquaculture 34: 73–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Oppenheimer, J.H. 1978. Nuclear receptor for triiodothyronine. A physiological perspective.In Receptors and Hormone Action. Vol. 111, pp. 1–33. Edited by L. Birnbaumer and B.W. O'Malley. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  37. Pickford, G.E. and Atz, J.W. 1957. The Physiology of the Pituitary Gland of Fishes. New York Zool. Soc., New York.Google Scholar
  38. Reddy, P.K. and Lam, T.J. 1987. Effects of salinity and thyroxine on larval survival and growth in the dwarf gourami,Colisa lalia. J. Aquacult. Trop. 2: 79–87.Google Scholar
  39. Reddy, P.K., Brown, C.L., Leatherland, J.F. and Lam, T.J. 1991. Role of thyroid hormones in tilapia larvae (Oreochromis mossambicus): II. Changes in the hormones and 5′-monodeiodinase activity during development. Fish Physiol. Biochem. (In press).Google Scholar
  40. Siegel, S. and Castellan, N.J. 1988. Nonparametric statistics for the behavioural sciences. McGraw Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  41. Sullivan, C.V., Darling, D.S. and Dickhoff, W.W. 1987a. Nuclear receptors for L-triiodothyronine in trout erythrocytes. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 65: 149–160.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Sullivan, C.V., Darling, D.S. and Dickhoff, W.W. 1987b. Effects of triiodothyronine and propylthiouracil on thyroid function and smoltification of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Fish Physiol. Biochem. 4: 121–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sullivan, C.V., Iwamoto, R.N. and Dickhoff, W.W. 1987c. Thyroid hormones in blood plasma of developing salmon embryos. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 65: 337–345.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Vilter, V. 1946. Action de la thyroxine sur la metamorphose larvaire de l'anguilla. C.R. Soc. Biol., Paris 140: 783–785.Google Scholar
  45. Woodhead, A.D. 1966. Effects of thyroid drugs on the larvae of the brown trout,Salmo trutta. J. Zool., Lond. 149: 394–413.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kugler Publications bv 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Reddy
    • 1
  • T. J. Lam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyNational University of SingaporeKent RidgeSingapore

Personalised recommendations