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Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2006 May;144(1):1-10. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Thiourea-induced thyroid hormone depletion impairs testicular recrudescence in the air-breathing catfish, Clarias gariepinus.

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Department of Animal Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500 046, India.


We used thiourea-induced thyroid hormone depletion as a strategy to understand the influence of thyroid hormones on testicular recrudescence of the air-breathing catfish, Clarias gariepinus. Treatment with 0.03% thiourea via immersion for 21 days induced hypothyroidism (thyroid hormone depletion) as evidenced by significantly reduced serum T(3) levels. Thiourea-treated males had narrowed seminiferous lobules with fewer spermatozoa in testis, very little or no secretory fluid, reduced protein and sialic acid levels in seminal vesicles when compared to controls. The histological changes were accompanied by reduction in serum and tissue levels of testosterone (T) and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), a potent male specific androgen in fish. Qualitative changes in the localization of catfish gonadotropin-releasing hormone (cfGnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH, heterologous system) revealed a reduction in the distribution of immunoreactive neuronal cells and fibers in thyroid depleted fish. Interestingly, thiourea-withdrawal group showed physiological and histological signs of recovery after 21 days such as reappearance of spermatozoa and partial restoration of 11-KT and T levels. These data demonstrate that thyroid hormones play a significant role in testicular function of catfish. The mechanism of action includes modulating sex steroids either directly or through the hypothalamo (GnRH)-hypophyseal (LH) axis.

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