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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2012 Dec 1;179(3):384-99. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2012.07.033. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Kisspeptin and seasonal control of reproduction in male European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

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Reproduction and Genetics Group, School of Natural Sciences, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK.


In the present study, we developed and validated real-time quantitative RT-PCR assays for a suite of genes involved in the brain-pituitary gonadal axis in fish including kisspeptin genes and its receptor (Kiss1, kiss2, kissr4) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone genes (sbGnRH, sGnRH, cGnRHII) in the brain, and gonadotropin genes (fshβ and lhβ) in the pituitary. Sex steroid profiles (T and 11-KT) and gonadal development were also studied over a full annual reproductive cycle in adult male sea bass. The cDNA partial sequence of sea bass kissr4 encoding 185 amino acids showed a high degree of conservation with other fish kissr4 subtype. Results clearly showed a seasonal profile for Kiss1, kiss2 and kissr4 mRNAs. Kissr4, fshβ and lhβ levels increased gradually and peaked during spermatogenesis (January) while Kiss1, kiss2, cGnRH-II as well as steroids showed peaks during early spawning (March). No significant seasonal changes were observed for sbGnRH and sGnRH expression. These results support the possible involvement of the kiss genes and their receptor (kissr4) in the seasonal control sea bass reproduction. However, a lack of correlation between kiss genes and sbGnRH expression and the mismatch between kisspeptin and the onset of gonadotropin surge contrast with previous findings.

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