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Fish Physiol Biochem. 2012 Dec;38(6):1655-66. doi: 10.1007/s10695-012-9662-9. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Sperm characteristics and androgens in Acipenser ruthenus after induction of spermiation by carp pituitary extract or GnRHa implants.

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South Bohemian Research Center of Aquaculture and Biodiversity of Hydrocenoses, Research Institute of Fish Culture and Hydrobiology, Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, University of South Bohemia, 389 25 Vodnany, Czech Republic.


Spermiation and changes in androgen (testosterone, T and 11-ketotestosterone, 11-KT) levels were studied in sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) treated with GnRH agonist implants (DAla(6)-Pro(9)-LHRHa) at 25 and 75 μg kg(-1) b.w. and compared with those males treated with 4 mg kg(-1) b.w. of carp pituitary extract (CPE) and 3 pellets of Ovopel kg(-1) b.w., which contains DAla(6)-Pro(9)NEt-mGnRH and metoclopramide. Sperm quality (sperm mass, spermatozoa concentration and sperm motility and velocity) was evaluated 24, 48 and 72 h after hormonal treatments. Males did not release sperm in the control group injected with physiological solution, while sperm could not be collected 7 days after treatments in all hormonally treated groups. Spermiation rates were 100 % in the CPE and Ovopel groups and 25-50 % in the GnRHa-treated groups. Sperm production was significantly lower in the GnRHa-treated groups than in the CPE and Ovopel groups and decreased 72 h after hormonal treatment. Sperm motility and velocity were higher in the Ovopel and GnRHa (75 μg) groups compared to the CPE and GnRHa (25 μg) groups and decreased 72 h after hormonal treatment. Androgens were only affected in spermiating males and changed in the Ovopel and GnRHa (75 μg) after hormonal treatment. Significant correlations were observed between sperm production, sperm motility and sperm velocity, but not androgens. The present study suggests involvement of dopamine in sturgeon spawning. Additionally, better sperm quality observed in the Ovopel group and particularly sperm motility in the GnRHa (75 μg) suggests enhancement of sperm quality in sturgeon treated with GnRHa. Therefore, further study is needed to induce fully spermiation using GnRHa implants in combination with a dopamine inhibitor.

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