Zoological science

Molecular characterization and gene expression of Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica) gonadotropin receptors.

PMID 22379989


A luteinizing hormone receptor (lhr) cDNA with high identity to other fish lhrs was fully cloned from the ovary of the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica). The genes for two gonadotropin receptors (Gthr), follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (fshr) and lhr, were differentially expressed during oogenesis, which was artificially induced by salmon pituitary extract, a gonadotropin-rich source. Transcript abundance of fshr was significantly elevated at the early vitellogenic stage and peaked at the late vitellogenic stage, while lhr gene expression rapidly induced at the late vitellogenic stage and thereafter remained at a high level. The abundance of fshr and lhr transcripts was highest in the ovary in female eels. In addition to the ovary, forebrain was a major site for the fshr transcript, although the level did not change with reproductive status. Furthermore, it was examined how eel Gthrs were activated by two mammalian chrionic gonadtropin (CG), equine CG (eCG) and human CG (hCG), that have been used for study of fish reproduction as substitutes for homologous Gths. Both CGs specifically activated eel Lhr, but not Fshr, although the degree of effectiveness was different; thus the concentration of hCG (0.1 ng/ml) required for significant activation of Lhr was much lower than that of eCG (100 ng/ml). These data on gene expression and ligand-activation of Gthrs suggest that Fsh and Lh act differentially in the regulation of reproductive function in Japanese eel.