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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2003 Oct 1;133(3):358-67.

Reproduction phase-related expression of GnRH-like immunoreactivity in the olfactory receptor neurons, their projections to the olfactory bulb and in the nervus terminalis in the female Indian major carp Cirrhinus mrigala (Ham.).

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagpur University Campus, Nagpur 440 033, India.


The reproductive biology of the Indian major carp Cirrhinus mrigala is tightly synchronized with the seasonal changes in the environment. While the ovaries show growth from February through June, the fish spawn in July-August to coincide with the monsoon; thereafter the fish pass into the postspawning and resting phases. We investigated the pattern of GnRH immunoreactivity in the olfactory system at regular intervals extending over a period of 35 months. Although no signal was detected in the olfactory organ of fish collected from April through February following year, distinct GnRH-like immunoreactivity appeared in the fish collected in March. Intense immunoreactivity was noticed in several olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) and their axonal fibers as they extend over the olfactory nerve, spread in the periphery of the olfactory bulb (OB), and terminate in the glomerular layer. Strong immunoreactivity was seen in some fascicles of the medial olfactory tracts extending from the OB to the telencephalon. Some neurons of the ganglion cells of nervus terminalis showed GnRH immunostaining during March; no immunoreactivity was detected at other times of the year. Plexus of GnRH immunoreactive fibers extending throughout the bulb represented a different component of the olfactory system; the fiber density showed a seasonal pattern that could be related to the status of gonadal maturity. While it was highest in the prespawning phase, significant reduction in the fiber density was noticed in the fish of spawning and the following regressive phases. Taken together the data suggest that the GnRH in the olfactory system of C. mrigala may play a major role in translation of the environmental cues and influence the downstream signals leading to the stimulation of the brain-pituitary-ovary axis.

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