Hormone profiles of captive striped bass Morone saxatilis during spermiation, and long-term enhancement of milt production

TitleHormone profiles of captive striped bass Morone saxatilis during spermiation, and long-term enhancement of milt production
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsMylonas, CC, Zohar Y, Woods III LC, Thomas P, Schulz RW
JournalJournal of the World Aquaculture Society
Pages379 - 392

Plasma profiles of reproductive and thyroid hormones were studied in captive striped bass Morone saxatilis during an 11-wk period encompassing the spawning season, and the effect of a sustained-release gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa)-delivery system (GnRHa-implant) on milt production was evaluated. The highest percentage of spermiating fish was observed between mid-April and mid-May, and mean total expressible milt ranged from 3.5 to 6.0 mL/kg. Plasma gonadotropin II (GtH II) increased significantly, though inconsistently, during the spermiation period, whereas testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone levels declined continually. Plasma 17,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one and 17,20β,21-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one remained low and unchanged during the peak of the spermiation period, while thyroid hormones were high and fluctuated without exhibiting a trend consistent with spermiation. The observed endocrine profiles suggest that captivity can diminish plasma GtH II and triiodothyronine levels in striped bass. Transfer of spermiating males from large holding tanks to small spawning tanks reduced total expressible milt after 14 d, but treatment with a GnRHa-implant restored milt volume, presumably due to the prolonged elevation of plasma GnRHa and GtH II induced by the GnRHa-implant. Also, treatment with the GnRHa-implant induced a two-to four-fold elevation of expressible milt for at least 20 d compared to control fish, while resulting in only a 5 to 15% decrease in sperm density. It appears that captivity and hatchery operations can diminish milt production in striped bass, and that GnRHa-delivery systems, via sustained elevation of plasma GtH II, can induce long-term enhancement in milt volume without affecting sperm density greatly.


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