In vertebrates, the regulation of gametogenesis is under the control of gonadotropins (Gth), follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) and luteinizing hormone (Lh). In fish, the physiological role of Gths is not fully understood, especially in species with asynchronous ovarian development. In order to elucidate the role of Gths in species with asynchronous ovary, we studied European hake (Merluccius merluccius) during the reproductive season. For this aim, we first cloned and sequenced both hormones. Then, we characterized their amino acid sequence and performed phylogenetic analyses to verify the relationship to their orthologues in other species. In addition, the quantification of gene expression during their natural reproductive season was analyzed in wild-caught female hake. Our results revealed that fshb peaked during the vitellogenic phase, remaining high until spawning. This is in contrast to the situation in species with synchronous ovary. lhb, on the other hand, peaked during maturation as is common also in species with synchronous ovarian development. Finally, combining double-labeling fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for Gth mRNAs with immunofluorescence for Lh protein, we evidenced the specific expression of fshb and lhb in different cells within the proximal pars distalis (PPD) of the pituitary. In addition to gonadotrope cells specific to expression of either fshb or lhb, some cells showed co-expression of both genes. This suggests either that gonadotropes with co-expression are not yet specified, or they could have a plasticity that permit changes from one cell phenotype to another during certain life stages and in turn during different physiological states.
Gonadotropin characterization, localization and expression inthe European hake Merluccius merluccius / Candelma, Michela; Fontaine, Romain; Colella, Sabrina; Santojanni, Alberto; Weltzien, Finn Arne; Carnevali, Oliana. - In: REPRODUCTION. - ISSN 1470-1626. - 153:(2017), pp. 123-132. [10.1530/REP-16-0377]