Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 17, Issue 1–6, pp 163–169 | Cite as

Artificial induction of maturation and fertilization in the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica

  • H. Ohta
  • H. Kagawa
  • H. Tanaka
  • K. Okuzawa
  • N. Iinuma
  • K. Hirose


Repeated injections of salmon pituitary extract (20 mg per fish per week) induced vitellogenesis in feminized, cultivated Japanese eels (Anguilla japonica). Oocytes were attained at the migratory nucleus stage after 11 or 12 injections. Addition of 17,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (DHP) into the incubation medium induced germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) in the oocytes at the migratory nucleus stage. An injection of DHP (2 µg g-1 BW), given 24h after an injection of salmon pituitary extract (20 mg fish-1), succeeded in inducing maturation and ovulation in females which contained occytes at the migratory nucleus stage. Most fish ovulated 15–18h following the DHP injection. Eggs that were ovulated within 15h after the DHP injection showed high fertility and hatchability, but eggs ovulated 18 or 21h after the DHP injection, showed considerably lower fertility and hatchability. A delay between ovulation and stripping of the eggs rapidly decreased both the fertility and hatchability within 6–9h after ovulation, indicating that artificial fertilization must be carried out immediately after ovulation. Repeated injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) at a concentration of 1 IU g-1 BW week-1 induced spermatogenesis, spermiation, and the acquisition of potential for sperm motility in cultivated males. Most males spermiated after the fifth or sixth injection of hCG, and the milt weight gradually increased and remained constant (1–2 g) from the 11th to 31th injection. Sperm motility peaked 24h after each weekly injection, and decreased from the 3rd day after the injection. Potassium ions are an essential constituent for the maintenance of motility in the eel spermatozoa. Artificial seminal plasma containing 15.2 mM KCl is applicable as a milt diluent. Using these techniques developed for female and male eels, we have succeeded in obtaining many fertilized eggs from cultivated eels.

oocyte maturation ovulation 17,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one spermiation sperm motility fertilization Japanese eel 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Ohta
    • 1
  • H. Kagawa
    • 1
  • H. Tanaka
    • 1
  • K. Okuzawa
    • 1
  • N. Iinuma
    • 2
  • K. Hirose
    • 3
  1. 1.National Research Institute of AquacultureNansei, MieJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of BioresourcesMie UniversityMieJapan
  3. 3.National Research Institute of Fisheries ScienceYokohama, KanagawaJapan

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