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Involvement of growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor I system in cranial remodeling during halibut metamorphosis as indicated by tissue- and stage-specific receptor gene expression and the presence of growth hormone receptor protein.

Journal article
Authors Jon Hildahl
Deborah M Power
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
Ingibjörg Einarsdottir
Published in Cell and tissue research
Volume 332
Issue 2
Pages 211-25
ISSN 0302-766X
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Zoology
Pages 211-25
Language en
Keywords Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Chondrocytes, metabolism, Eye, growth & development, Fibroblasts, metabolism, Flounder, growth & development, metabolism, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Immunohistochemistry, In Situ Hybridization, Metamorphosis, Biological, Molecular Sequence Data, Osteocytes, metabolism, Receptor, IGF Type 1, genetics, metabolism, Receptors, Somatotropin, chemistry, genetics, metabolism, Sequence Alignment, Skull, growth & development, metabolism
Subject categories Animal physiology


The role of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in the tissue remodeling associated with the transition of a symmetrical larva to an asymmetrical juvenile during flatfish metamorphosis is unknown. In order to investigate the potential role of these hormones in the remodeling of cranial bone and soft tissue that accompanies eye migration during metamorphosis of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) larvae, tissue-specific gene expression was monitored by in situ hybridization for Atlantic halibut type I growth hormone receptor (hhGHR), type II hhGHR, and insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (hhIGF-IR). Polyclonal antibody generated against the extracellular domain of type I hhGHR was used for the immunohistochemical localization of type I GHR protein. Type I hhGHR, type II hhGHR, and hhIGF-IR mRNA were expressed in fibroblasts, frontal bone osteocytes, and dorsal chondrocytes at the onset of metamorphosis (stage 8), during metamorphic climax (stage 9), and in fully metamorphosed juveniles (stage 10). Type I GHR protein showed similar expression patterns to those of type I hhGHR mRNA, except in chondrocytes in which little GHR protein was detected. The localization of GHR and IGF-IR transcripts and GHR protein in cranial structures that undergo remodeling is intriguing and suggests that, in addition to thyroid hormones, the GH-IGF-I system is involved in morphological transformations during metamorphosis in Atlantic halibut.

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