General and comparative endocrinology

Effect of gonadectomy and hypophysectomy on plasma steroid levels in male and female lampreys (Lampetra fluviatilis, L.).

PMID 2962897


Testosterone, estradiol, and dehydroepiandrosterone (T, E2, and DHA) were measured by RIA in plasma samples from three groups of sexually immature male and female (male, female) river lampreys: (I) intact, (II) gonadectomized, or (III) with pro- and mesoadenohypophysis removed (hypophysectomized). T levels were around 0.1 ng/ml in both I male and I female and increased significantly in all operated groups, especially in II male, to 1.2 ng/ml. E2 levels were between 0.7 and 1 ng/ml in I male and I female and were significantly elevated only in II male to 2.0 ng/ml. DHA levels showed significant decreases, from around 0.9 ng/ml in I male and I female, in both operated groups. It is suggested that T and E2 are secreted from a nongonadal source in both sexes and then converted to biologically active sex hormones in the gonads. Therefore T and E2 do not decrease, and may even accumulate, in the blood after gonadectomy. Since extirpation of the pro- and mesoadenohypophysis was not followed by a decrease in T and E2, their secretion may be stimulated by a hormone from another part of the pituitary such as the metaadenohypophysis.