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General and comparative endocrinology

Seasonal variations in sex steroids and male sexual characteristics in Scyliorhinus canicula.


PMID 10562458

Abstract

Concentrations of testosterone, progesterone, Delta4-androstenedione, dihydrotestosterone, 11-ketotestosterone, estrone, estradiol-17beta, 5alpha-androstane, 3alpha, 17beta-diol, and 17alpha-hydroxy, 20beta-dihydroprogesterone were determined by radioimmunoassays in the blood plasma and testicular homogenates of Scyliorhinus canicula. Samples were collected almost every month for 27 months. The weights and sizes of reproductive organs and sperm reserves were also measured over the same period. Quantitatively, testosterone was the principal steroid present. Testicular and epididymal weights, sperm reserves, and clasper size varied throughout the year, but not always in a synchronous fashion. Most of the testicular steroids had an annual peak, generally in February, except for progesterone. The plasma concentrations of progesterone, Delta4-androstenedione, and androgens presented various degrees of fluctuation over the year, but were not synchronized: maxima occurred during autumn-winter for androgens and progesterone, during spring for Delta4-androstenedione. Thus, various aspects of S. canicula reproductive function appear to be influenced by season, the sea temperature being, most probably, a major determinant in this respect.

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