|Endocrine and milt response of Senegalese sole, Solea senegalensis, males maintained in captivity.
|Cabrita, E, Soares, F, Beirão, J, García-López, A, Martínez-Rodríguez, G, Dinis, MT
|Year of Publication
|2011 Jan 1
|Animal Communication, Animals, Breeding, Female, Flatfishes, Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, Hydroxyprogesterones, Male, Seasons, Semen Analysis, Sperm Motility, Spermatogenesis, Testosterone
Improving fertilization success in captive Senegalese sole broodstocks has been a challenge in the last years. Recent reports suggest that low sperm volume and quality could be one of the reasons leading to poor fertilization rates, although further studies are needed to reach a conclusive explanation. Here, we report on several experiments focused on this issue. Seasonal profiles of plasma androgen levels (testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone) and sperm production and quality parameters were assessed, although no statistical correlations among them were identified. The response of males to female presence/absence was also analyzed. Long-term isolation from females decreased male androgen levels at the peak of the reproductive period, suggesting some kind of disrupting effects on the endocrine system. On the other hand, short-term exposure of previously isolated males to ripe females decreased androgen levels, possibly reflecting a rapid steroidogenic shift promoting final maturation of spermatozoa, and increased sperm viability, motility and velocity, thus, supporting the concept of positive effects of female contact on male sole performance. Further evidence sustaining the relevant female-to-male communication in sole reproduction was obtained after treating the females with progestagen 17α,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (regarded as pre-ovulatory pheromone in fish) and registering a significant increase in sperm viability, velocity and motility in surrounding males. Finally, we found that a single administration of a 20 μg/kg GnRH analogue in males was effective in stimulating androgen release and sperm quality, although the effects were transient and thus, the use of sustained hormone delivery methods were suggested for improving efficiency. Our results point to velocity, viability, and motility as the most sensitive parameters in sole sperm, although further studies will have to evaluate whether these parameters have any relation with fertilization success in captive broodstocks of this important aquaculture species.