Currently, spawning is induced in carp species by carp pituitary extract (CPE) and a combination of synthetic agonist of GnRH combined with a dopamine antagonist. The main goal of this study was the production of recombinant gonadotropins (GtHs) on a large scale to serve as an alternative to currently used agents. We produced carp (c) recombinant (r) Lh as a single chain in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. Lha subunit was joined with Lhb subunit with a flexible linker of three glycine–serine repeats and six Histidines to form a mature protein, the β-subunit formed the N-terminal part and the α-subunit formed the C-terminal part. The ability of the rcLh to elicit biological response was tested by in vivo stimulation of estradiol (E2) and 17α,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (DHP) and by its in vivo potency to induce ovulation and spawning induction. rcLh tested in this work significantly enhanced both E2 and DHP secretion in a dose-dependent manner similar to the results obtained with CPE. E2 levels showed a moderate rise following the priming injection and a subsequent decrease during the rest of the trial. DHP levels were only increased after the resolving injection, approximately 5 h before spawning. At the highest dose of rcLh (350 µg/kg BW), the recombinant protein was more efficient than CPE in terms of both spawning success and fertilization rate. It is shown here that rcLh can elicit the secretion of DHP in vivo and actually trigger spawning. These novel findings introduce the potential of utilizing recombinant gonadotropins in aquaculture.
Joseph Aizen, Lian Hollander-Cohen, Michal Shpilman and Berta Levavi-Sivan
Nilli Zmora, Ten-Tsao Wong, John Stubblefield, Berta Levavi-Sivan and Yonathan Zohar
Kisspeptin and neurokinin B (NKB) are neuropeptides co-expressed in the mammalian hypothalamus and coordinately control GnRH signaling. We have found that Nkb and kisspeptin neurons are distinct in the teleost, striped bass (STB) and capitalized on this phenomenon to study the mode of action of Nkb and its related neuropeptide-F (Nkf), both of which are encoded by the tac3 gene. In vitro brain slices and in vivo administration studies revealed that Nkb/f consistently downregulated kiss2, whereas antagonist (AntD) administration restored this effect. Overall, a minor effect was noted on gnrh1 expression, whereas Gnrh1 content in the pituitaries was reduced after Nkb/f treatment and increased with AntD. Concomitantly, immunostaining demonstrated that hypothalamic Nkb neurons border and densely innervate the largest kiss2 neuronal population in the hypothalamus, which also coexpresses Nkb receptor. No expression of Nkb receptor or Nkb neuronal projections was detected near/in Gnrh1 soma in the preoptic area. At the level of the pituitary, however, the picture was more complex: both Nkb/f and AntD upregulated lhb and fshb expression and Lh secretion in vivo. Together with the stimulatory effect of Nkb/f on Lh/Fsh secretion from pituitary cells, in vitro, this may indicate an additional independent action of Nkb/f within the pituitary, in which the hypothalamic pathway is more dominant. The current study demonstrates that Nkb/f utilizes multiple pathways to regulate reproduction in the STB and that in the brain, Nkb mainly acts as a negative modulator of kiss2 to regulate the release of Gnrh1.