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Biol Reprod. 1999 Sep;61(3):834-41.

Gonadal stage-dependent effects of gonadal steroids on gonadotropin II secretion in the Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus).

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The University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas, Texas 78373, USA.


Involvement of gonadal steroids in the control of gonadotropin II (GTH II) (homologous to LH) secretion was investigated in the Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) using gonadectomy (Gx) and steroid replacement paradigms. Gonadectomy in males and females during the late gonadal recrudescence phase elicited significant increases in the gonadotropin response to stimulation by an LHRH analog (LHRHa), without altering basal GTH II secretion. Slow-release silicone elastomer implants of testosterone or estradiol significantly inhibited LHRHa-induced GTH II secretion in gonad-intact and Gx males, and in Gx females, whereas 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, a nonaromatizable androgen, was ineffective. Pretreatment of fish with an aromatase inhibitor, 1,4, 6-androstatrien-3,17-dione, 2 days before the administration of testosterone implants, completely blocked the negative effect of testosterone on LHRHa-induced GTH II secretion in males, but only partially restored it in females. This suggests that the negative feedback of testosterone in males is primarily mediated by its conversion to estradiol at the level of the hypothalamus and/or pituitary gland, while in females the androgen may also exert a direct inhibitory effect on GTH II secretion, probably mediated via an androgen receptor. In addition, estradiol and testosterone exerted positive effects on basal and LHRHa-induced GTH II secretion during the early-recrudescence phase of the gonadal cycle. The steroids switched to a negative effect on LHRHa-induced GTH II secretion once the fish had fully developed gonads, possibly as a mechanism that prevents a precocious surge in GTH II secretion and final gamete maturation until gametogenesis is complete and the environmental conditions are appropriate for spawning.

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