Modulation of testicular androgen production in adolescent African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

TitleModulation of testicular androgen production in adolescent African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsSchulz, RW, Van Der Wind F, Janssen-Dommerholt C, Peute J, Mylonas CC, Zohar Y, Swanson P, Goos HJT
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Pages56 - 66

At 6 months of age the first spermatozoa appear in the testes of the African catfish considered to be adolescent, since the development to adulthood (12 months of age) is accompanied by further morphological and functional differentiation of Leydig cells. There are increasing plasma levels of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) and an increasing responsiveness to luteinizing hormone (LH) of testicular androgen secretion in vitro. Whether treatment of adolescent males with key hormones of the brain-pituitary-gonad axis [gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), LH, and 11-KT] affects the testicular steroidogenic response to a challenge with LH in vitro 7 days later has been investigated. Injection of GnRH (2.5 μg chicken GnRH-II per kilogram of body weight), LH (25 μg/kg), or a high dose of 11-KT (50 μg/kg) down-regulated basal and LH-stimulated testicular androgen secretion to a minimum of 35% of control values. Treatment with LH was, moreover, associated with changes in the ultrastructure of Leydig cell mitochondria which were either swollen and had a less electron-dense matrix or showed an elongated shape. Conversely, a moderate dose of 11-KT (20 μg/kg) enhanced LH- stimulated, but not basal, androgen secretion in vitro to a maximum of 190% of control values. In view of the generally low LH plasma levels and of the steadily increasing 11-KT plasma levels during puberty, 11-KT may be involved in the up-regulation of the testicular steroidogenic capacity observed during development to full maturity.


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