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The brain-pituitary-gonadal axis in the rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri

II. Direct effect of gonadal steroids on the gonadotropic cells

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In a cytophysiological study it was investigated whether in juvenile trout gonadal steroids stimulate the gonadotropic (GTH)-cells directly or indirectly via the brain. Pituitaries of donor animals were transplanted into the caudal musculature of testosterone-treated and non-testosterone-treated host fish. Testosterone treatment caused an increase in GTH-content in the in situ pituitaries and in the grafts. Accordingly, the gonadotrops displayed ultrastructural changes such as the appearance of well-developed Golgi systems and large globules. The stimulation of the morphological development of gonadotrops and of synthesis and storage of GTH in the allografted pituitaries indicates that testosterone affects the GTH-cells directly. In untreated juvenile trout the gonadotropin content of the pituitary and the gonadotropin concentration in the plasma vary with the time of year. This variation and the role of testosterone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone on the release of GTH are discussed.

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Author information

Correspondence to Dr. H. J. Th. Goos.

Additional information

Preliminary results were presented as a poster at the International Symposium on Reproductive Physiology of Fish, Wageningen, The Netherlands, August 1–8, 1982 (see, Gielen et al. 1982c)

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Gielen, J.T., Goos, H.J.T. The brain-pituitary-gonadal axis in the rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri . Cell Tissue Res. 233, 377–388 (1983).

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Key words

  • Gonadotrops
  • Gonadotropin secretion
  • Steroids
  • Brain-pituitary-gonadal axis
  • Juvenile teleost