Date Published:NOV 1
Abstract:Sturgeons are being used in aquaculture because wild populations are now endangered due to overfishing for caviar. A challenge in working with sturgeon as an aquacultured species is its long and slow reproductive development. Reproduction is a hormonally regulated process that involves hierarchical signaling between the brain, pituitary gland, and gonads. In an effort to better understand the hormonal regulation of sturgeon reproduction, we have cloned the Russian sturgeon (st), Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, luteinizing hormone receptor (stLHR) and follicle stimulating hormone receptor (stFSHR) and measured their expression from previtellogenic to mature ovarian follicles. Sturgeon LHR and FSHR expression was elevated in early-vitellogenic and mature follicles compared with pre-vitellogenic and mid-vitellogenic follicles, and only LHR expression increased during late-vitellogenesis. Recombinant sturgeon FSH and LH both activated sturgeon LHR and FSHR in a cAMP reporter assay. Further molecular characterization of these receptors was accomplished by in silica modeling and cAMP reporter assays using heterologous recombinant gonadotropins from human and piscine species. There was no apparent trend in heterologous LH and/or FSH activation of the sturgeon LHR or FSHR. These data suggest that permissive activation of LHR and FSHR are a consequence of some yet undetermined biological characteristic(s) of different piscine species.