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Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 895–910 | Cite as

Cloning, characterization, and molecular expression of gonadotropin receptors in European hake (Merluccius merluccius), a multiple-spawning species

  • Michela Candelma
  • Luisa Dalla Valle
  • Sabrina Colella
  • Alberto Santojanni
  • Oliana Carnevali
Article

Abstract

Teleosts have many spawning strategies and the hormonal control of gametogenesis is not well defined among the species or even, between sexes. To increase the knowledge of gonadotropin hormones, we studied the trend by gene expression of gonadotropin receptors in the follicles and testis at different maturity stages in the European hake (Merluccius merluccius), a multiple-spawning species. With this aim, fshr and lhr were sequenced, characterized, and their gene expression was quantified in oocytes and in testes at different maturity stages. The deduced amino acid sequences were used to phylogenetic studies and evidenced that both receptors are phylogenetically closed to other gadoid species. The gene expression of both receptors was poorly expressed in primary follicles, increased in vitellogenic follicles and to later decrease in hydrated oocytes. In testis, highest levels of lhr were detected during spermiation, while levels of fshr were constant. For the first time, a histological analysis was performed in European hake testes showing an unrestricted lobular testis. To better elucidate the mechanisms involved in the oogenesis of the European hake, the expression of estrogen receptor and cyp19a was also investigated displaying high levels in all classes of follicles. All these data allow to increase the knowledge on reproductive physiology of an important socioeconomical species and it seeks to shed more light on the role of the receptors here studied during gametogenesis of multiple-spawning fish.

Keywords

Merluccius merluccius Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor Luteinizing hormone receptor Multiple-spawning fish Alpha estrogen receptor cyt P450arom 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the Dr. Filippo Domenichetti and Dr. Camilla Croci of Marine Science Institute—CNR and the Captain Giordano and crew of “Orizzonte” vessel for their support in sampling.

Funding information

This work was partially supported by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Forestry Policies (Mipaaf) and European Union (Italian National Programs 2011–2013 and 2014–2016, in the ambit of Data Collection Framework).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Developmental and Reproductive Biology, DiSVAUniversità Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.CNR-National Research Council of ItalyISMAR-Marine Sciences InstituteAnconaItaly

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