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Sex-specific metabolic changes in the annual reproductive cycle of a freshwater catfish.

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Department of Zoology, J.N. Vyas University, Jodhpur 342001, India.


Sex-specific enzymatic and other biochemical changes were studied in the annual reproductive cycle of the freshwater catfish, Clarias batrachus. Citrate synthase (CS) activity of brain, liver and skeletal muscle was maximum in spawning and minimum in postspawning showing a sharp decline in aerobic capacity after spawning. Similar CS activity in remaining phases of the annual reproductive cycle reflects similar energy need during regressed, preparatory and prespawning phases. Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6-PDH) activity declined in spawning and postspawning indicating a possible decrease in lipid and nucleic acid syntheses. The subsequent increase in G6-PDH activity with onset of resting and maintenance of the increased level throughout preparatory and prespawning phases shows restoration of biosynthetic activity. Higher activity of G6-PDH in female than male may be to satisfy a greater biosynthetic need of female reproduction and breeding. The decreased RNA content of tissues showed reduction in protein synthesis capacity during spawning and subsequent increase through postspawning until resting phase. The RNA content of brain and liver was higher in female than male during preparatory and prespawning, which may be associated with higher protein synthesis requirement of female for preparation of reproductive activities. The requirement based sex related changes in metabolism of catfish may be enzyme, tissue or reproductive phase-specific.

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