Recombinant Gonadotropins to Induce Oocyte Development In Vitro and In Vivo in the European Eel Anguilla anguilla

Jéhannet, P.J.M.; Palstra, A.P.; Giménez Nebot, I.; Schipper, H.; Swinkels, William; Heinsbroek, L.T.N.; Komen, J.


Commonly, female European eels are injected weekly with pituitary extract (PE) from carp (CPE) or salmon (SPE) to induce sexual maturation. However, a PE is a mixture of go-nadotropins and other hormones that are not specific for eel and rapidly cleared from circulation.The aim of this study was therefore to test the effects of highly stable eel-specific recombinant gonadotropins (rGTHs) on oocyte development in vitro and in vivo in European eels. For thein vitro trial, the dose–effect responses of maturing eel oocytes on CPE and recombinant luteinizing hormone (rLH) were studied before and after 12 and 18 h of incubation. For the in vivo experiment,sexual maturation was stimulated by treatment with (i) CPE, (ii) recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (rFSH) followed by CPE and (iii) rFSH followed by rLH. For the in vitro experiment, theexpression of the nuclear progestin receptor 2 (pgr2) was induced by rLH, implying that rLH was preparing the oocyte for ovulation. For the in vivo experiment, the females treated with rGTHshad high gonadosomatic index (GSI) values (rFSH-CPE: 75, 77; rFSH-rLH: 80) in comparison with the females injected with CPE (50–60), suggesting that rFSH strongly induced vitellogenic growth. Larvae were produced for all treatment groups and for the first time by rGTH treatment alone but dose and timing still need optimization.