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PM Guerreiro, J Fuentes, AV Canario, and DM Power

In all teleost fishes vitellogenesis is triggered and maintained by oestradiol-17beta (E2) and is accompanied by an increase of blood plasma calcium and phosphate. The action of this hormone on calcium metabolism was investigated by treating fast-growing immature juvenile sea bream (Sparus aurata) with coconut butter implants alone (control) or implants containing 10 microg/g E2. Treatment with E2 induced the production of circulating vitellogenin, a 2.5-fold increase in plasma ionic Ca2+ and a 10-fold increase in plasma total calcium, largely bound to protein. In contrast to freshwater species, which obtain most of their calcium from the environment directly through the gills, the intestinal component of calcium uptake of the salt water-living sea bream represented up to 60-70% of the total uptake. The whole body calcium uptake, expressed as the sum of calcium obtained via intestinal and extra-intestinal (likely branchial) routes increased significantly in response to E2. Combined influx and unchanged efflux rates resulted in a significant 31% increase in net calcium uptake. There was no evidence for an effect of E2 on the calcium and phosphate content of the scales or the tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity (an index for bone/scale osteoclast activity). While most freshwater fish appear to rely on internal stores of calcium, i.e. bone and/or scales to increase calcium availability, the marine sea bream accommodates calcium-transporting mechanisms to obtain calcium from the environment and preserve internal stores. These observations suggest that a fundamental difference may exist in the E2-dependent calcium regulation between freshwater and marine teleosts.

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J. Steinsapir, A. M. Rojas, M. E. Bruzzone, A. White, O. Alarcón, I. Fuentes, C. Fierro, O. González, R. Ampuero, M. Fuentes, and J. Bitrán


In the ovariectomized adult rat uterine oedema induced by 0·01 and 0·1 μg oestradiol-17β/100 g body weight increased further in the presence of theophylline. Nuclear retention of oestrogen-receptor complexes also increased in response to theophylline both in vivo and in vitro. Theophylline decreased the number of eosinophils in the blood and concurrently decreased oestrogen-induced uterine eosinophilia at doses of 0·001, 0·01, 0·1, 1, 10 or 30 μg oestradiol/100 g body weight, through a mechanism independent of glucocorticoids. There was, therefore, no correlation between changes in the number of uterine eosinophils and changes in uterine wet weight induced by theophylline and oestrogen. It is suggested that the presence of oestrogen-receptor complexes in the nucleus for at least 4 h is a prerequisite for the induction of uterine oedema and growth in the presence of theophylline and oestradiol-17β.

J. Endocr. (1985) 105, 397–403

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Manuel D Gahete, David Rincón-Fernández, Alicia Villa-Osaba, Daniel Hormaechea-Agulla, Alejandro Ibáñez-Costa, Antonio J Martínez-Fuentes, Francisco Gracia-Navarro, Justo P Castaño, and Raúl M Luque

Ghrelin is a 28-amino acid acylated hormone, highly expressed in the stomach, which binds to its cognate receptor (GHSR1a) to regulate a plethora of relevant biological processes, including food intake, energy balance, hormonal secretions, learning, inflammation, etc. However, ghrelin is, in fact, the most notorious component of a complex, intricate regulatory system comprised of a growing number of alternative peptides (e.g. obestatin, unacylated ghrelin, and In1-ghrelin, etc.), known (GHSRs) and, necessarily unknown receptors, as well as modifying enzymes (e.g. ghrelin-O-acyl-transferase), which interact among them as well as with other regulatory systems in order to tightly modulate key (patho)-physiological processes. This multiplicity of functions and versatility of the ghrelin system arise from a dual, genetic and functional, complexity. Importantly, a growing body of evidence suggests that dysregulation in some of the components of the ghrelin system can lead to or influence the development and/or progression of highly concerning pathologies such as endocrine-related tumors, inflammatory/cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegeneration, wherein these altered components could be used as diagnostic, prognostic, or therapeutic targets. In this context, the aim of this review is to integrate and comprehensively analyze the multiple components and functions of the ghrelin system described to date in order to define and understand its biological and (patho)-physiological significance.