Author(s): Thompson ED, Mayer GD, Balesaria S, Glover CN, Walsh PJ,
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Abstract Females of the squirrelfish family (Holocentridae) accumulate higher levels of hepatic zinc than any other studied animal. This accumulation is accompanied by high expression of the zinc-binding protein, metallothionein (MT), and is strongly correlated to the onset of sexual maturity. In an attempt to further characterize the timeframe of this accumulation, and to possibly discern any potential mediators, we examined the physiology and endocrinology of the yearly reproductive cycle of mature female squirrelfish. There are two separate reproductive events during the year in December-January and again in March-April, as evidenced by peaks in ovarian growth, VTG production, steroid levels, zinc accumulation and redistribution. Increased hepatic zinc seems to be preceded by a necessary increase in MT, but this was not clearly correlated to plasma 17beta-estradiol, testosterone, or progesterone levels. The plasma zinc protein vitellogenin (VTG) is one, but probably not the predominant, vehicle for the transport of hepatic zinc to the ovary.
This article was published in Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development