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Cloning of somatolactin alpha, beta forms and the somatolactin receptor in Atlantic salmon: Seasonal expression profile in pituitary and ovary of maturing female broodstock

Journal article
Authors Susana Benedet Perea
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
G.L. Taranger
E Andersson
Published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Volume 6
Issue 42
ISSN 1477-7827
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Zoology
Language en
Subject categories Animal physiology


Background Somatolactin (Sl) is a fish specific adenohypophyseal peptide hormone related to growth hormone (Gh). Some species, including salmonids, possess two forms: Sl alpha and Sl beta. The somatolactin receptor (slr) is closely related to the growth hormone receptor (ghr). Sl has been ascribed many physiological functions, including a role in sexual maturation. In order to clarify the role of Sl in the sexual maturation of female Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), the full length cDNAs of slr, Sl alpha and Sl beta were cloned and their expression was studied throughout a seasonal reproductive cycle using real-time quantitative PCR (RTqPCR). Methods Atlantic salmon Sl alpha, Sl beta and slr cDNAs were cloned using a PCR approach. Gene expression of Sl alpha, SL beta and slr was studied using RTqPCR over a 17 month period encompassing pre-vitellogenesis, vitellogenesis, ovulation and post ovulation in salmon females. Histological examination of ovarian samples allowed for the classification according to the degree of follicle maturation into oil drop, primary, secondary or tertiary yolk stage. Results The mature peptide sequences of Sl alpha, Sl beta and slr are highly similar to previously cloned salmonid forms and contained the typical motifs. Phylogenetic analysis of Atlantic salmon Sl alpha and Sl beta shows that these peptides group into the two Sl clades present in some fish species. The Atlantic salmon slr grouped with salmonid slr amongst so-called type I ghr. An increase in pituitary Sl alpha and Sl beta transcripts before and during spawning, with a decrease post-ovulation, and a constant expression level of ovarian slr were observed. There was also a transient increase in Sl alpha and Sl beta in May prior to transfer from seawater to fresh water and ensuing fasting. Conclusion The up-regulation of Sl alpha and Sl beta during vitellogenesis and spawning, with a subsequent decrease post-ovulation, supports a role for Sl during gonadal growth and spawning. Sl could also be involved in calcium/phosphate mobilization associated with vitellogenesis or have a role in energy homeostasis associated with lipolysis during fasting. The up-regulation of both Sl alpha and Sl beta prior to fasting and freshwater transfer, suggests a role for Sl linked to reproduction that may be independent of the maturation induced fasting.

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