Publications by authors named "Renata Guimarães Moreira"

28 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Eutrophication effects on fatty acid profiles of seston and omnivorous fish in tropical reservoirs.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 20;781:146649. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, 101, SP 05508-090, Brazil.

It has been postulated that eutrophication causes replacement of n3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (n3 HUFA) rich taxa, such as Bacillariophyta, Cryptophyta and Dinophyta, with taxa poor in these fatty acids (FA), such as Chlorophyta and Cyanobacteria. Such a change in community composition at the basis of the food web may alter the FA composition of consumer tissues. Here, we investigated the effects of eutrophication on phytoplankton composition and FA profiles of seston and muscle of two omnivorous fish species (Astyanax fasciatus and Astyanax altiparanae) from reservoirs of different trophic status in Southeast Brazil. The phytoplankton composition and seston FA profiles reflected the degree of eutrophication at most of the studied sites. Three of the five most eutrophic sites were dominated by cyanobacteria and had the highest saturated fatty acid (SFA) and lowest polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) relative contents among all sites. In contrast, the remaining two sites presented a higher phytoplankton diversity and higher relative contribution of sestonic PUFAs with 18 carbons (C18) and HUFAs than less eutrophic systems. However, there were no clear effects of sestonic FA profiles on the FA profiles of muscle of both fish species. A higher percentage of n3 HUFAs was found in the fish samples from a hypereutrophic and cyanobacteria dominated reservoir than in those from sites with a more diverse phytoplankton community in which fish mainly showed higher percentages of C18 PUFA. These results suggest a lack of a direct relationship between the degree of eutrophication and the percentage of n3 HUFAs in both fish species, which can be caused by specific characteristics of the reservoirs that may modulate eutrophication effects. Therefore, consumer FA biochemistry seemed to be dictated by their ability to select, accumulate, and modify dietary FAs, rather than by the eutrophication degree of the studied tropical reservoirs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146649DOI Listing
March 2021

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs act as endocrine disruptors in Astyanax lacustris (Teleostei: Characidae) reproduction: An ex vivo approach.

Aquat Toxicol 2021 Jan 29;232:105767. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Escola de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Anhembi Morumbi - R. Dr. Almeida Lima, 1134 - Parque da Mooca, 03164-000, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

Pharmaceutical products can act as endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), affecting the physiological processes of animals, such as development or reproduction. This study aimed to investigate the influence of different concentrations of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) diclofenac (DCF) and ibuprofen (IBU) alone and mixed (MIX) on gonadotropin gene expression and gonadal steroid release using Astyanax lacustris pituitary and testes explant systems, respectively. The explant organs were maintained for 12 h in Leibovitz (L-15) medium supplemented with 0, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000 ng L of DCF, IBU, and MIX (ratio 1:1 of the same concentrations of DCF and IBU alone) and gonadotropin releasing-hormone (cGnRH2) stimulation in pituitary explants and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) stimulation in testes explants. The pituitary glands and the media from the testicular explants were collected for gene expression analysis including the β subunit of the follicle-stimulating hormone (fshβ) and luteinizing hormone (lhβ) and secreted gonadal steroid concentration analysis, respectively. Both DCF and IBU (alone and mixed) decreased pituitary gene expression of fshβ and lhβ and this inhibitory effect was evident even at low concentrations. In the testes, DCF and IBU did not change the levels of estradiol, and both pharmaceuticals increased the release of 11-ketotestosterone at low doses, while only IBU decreased the levels of testosterone in all concentrations. IBU's inhibitory effect in the testes was not triggered by the mixture of the two drugs. These results suggest that NSAIDs, may interfere in fish reproduction by acting as EDCs, thereby negatively affecting A. lacustris spermatogenesis and maturation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2021.105767DOI Listing
January 2021

Aluminum at environmental concentrations affects the sperm quality of the freshwater teleost Astyanax altiparanae: An in vitro study.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2021 May 22;243:108983. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Biociências, Departamento de Fisiologia, Laboratory of Metabolism and Reproduction of Aquatic Organisms - LAMEROA, Rua do Matão, trav. 14, 101, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

Aluminum (Al) is present in rivers and reservoirs in concentrations above that is allowed by regulatory agencies (e.g. 0.5 mg L Al), which can impair fish reproduction. The present study evaluated the in vitro effects on the sperm of Astyanax altiparanae upon Al exposure at different concentrations (0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5 mg L) with various exposure periods (50 s, 10 min, and 30 min). The following biomarkers were evaluated: membrane vitality, DNA fragmentation, morphology, kinetics (10 s and 30 s after sperm activation), and sperm mitochondrial activity. Al damages the membrane vitality of gametes at 0.3 and 0.5 mg L after 50 s of exposure. After 30 min of exposure, there was a decrease in membrane vitality at 0.1 and 0.5 mg L, and the membrane vitality decreased with increased exposure time. Within 30 s after sperm activation, Al (0.3 and 0.5 mg L) reduced sperm motility by more than 50% at the longest exposure time, while at 0.1 and 0.5 mg L, Al exposure reduced motility over time. The average path speed (VAP; 10 s post-sperm activation) was reduced at longer exposure times at 0.05 and 0.5 mg L of Al. Increased exposure time had deleterious effects on mitochondrial activity at the highest concentrations tested. Al did not damage DNA and sperm morphology. In conclusion, Al negatively influences the sperm quality of A. altiparanae with a potential effect of exposure time and increasing concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2021.108983DOI Listing
May 2021

Aluminum bioconcentration in female Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (Perciformes: Cichlidae) and the effects on pituitary gonadotropins.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2021 Mar 29;241:108965. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, R. do Matão, Trav.14, n. 321, 05508-090 São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

In this study, we measured aluminum (Al) bioconcentration in the brain, ovaries, and liver of Oreochromis niloticus females, and analyzed the effects of exposure to Al and acidic pH on the gene expression of follicle-stimulating hormone (βfsh) and luteinizing hormone (βlh) in these animals. Mature females were divided into 4 groups, thus being maintained for 96 h in one of the following conditions: control at neutral pH (Ctr); Al at neutral pH (Al); acidic pH (Ac), and Al at acidic pH (Al-Ac). pH alone did not influence Al bioconcentration in the brain. The animals from the Al-Ac group bioconcentrated more Al in the ovaries than those from the Al group, while no differences were observed in the liver. Aluminum bioconcentration was higher in the brain than in the liver and ovaries in Al-exposed animals (Al and Al-Ac), and higher in the brain than in the ovaries in the Ctr and Ac groups. The liver bioconcentrates more Al than the ovaries in the females from the Ctr and Ac groups. Aluminum and/or acidic pH did not alter βfsh gene expression, while βlh gene expression decreased in females from the Al group. Aluminum acted as an endocrine disruptor, suggesting deleterious effects in reproduction that could result in ovulation failure. Aluminum can act directly and/or indirectly in the pituitary, affecting ovarian steroidogenesis and altering the reproductive endocrine axis of mature O. niloticus females in an acute period of exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2020.108965DOI Listing
March 2021

Paternal exposure to aluminum, acidity, and temperature affect fatty acid seminal profile, embryonic and larval development of Astyanax altiparanae.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 11;266:128935. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Biociências, Departamento de Fisiologia, Laboratory of Metabolism and Reproduction of Aquatic Organisms - LAMEROA, Matão Street, 14 Lane, Number 101, Room 220, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

We investigated the effects of water acidity, temperature, and aluminum (Al) on the fatty acid (FA) seminal profile, reproductive parameters (fertilization and hatching) and embryonic development of Astyanax altiparanae. We treated males with different experimental treatments, corresponding to the combination of water temperature (20 °C; 25 °C), pH (neutral - 7.0; acidic - 5.5), and the absence or presence of Al (0.5 mg L). After 96 h, we analyzed the FA profile of semen and performed artificial fertilization in activating medium with neutral pH or activating medium in the same experimental conditions of the males (neutral pH, acidic pH, and Al) to evaluate fertilization and hatching rates and to monitor embryonic development. Polyunsaturated FA percentage decreased in semen of fish from the neutral group, while monounsaturated FA increased in all groups maintained at 20 °C compared to 25 °C. Aluminum exposure decreased the percentage of C20:4n6 and increased the percentage of C22:5n3 at 20 °C. Males exposed to acidic pH and Al showed lower fertilization and hatching rates, as well as increased mortality of embryos and larvae. Moreover, Al favoured a higher percentage of abnormal larvae. Fertilization in Al activating medium harmed the embryos and larvae since fertilization and hatching rates decreased. Finally, temperature influenced fertilization time, hatching rate, and the morphology of embryos and larvae. Males exposed to Al had lower fertilizing capacity, which negatively affected the embryonic development of the species. Furthermore, Al activating medium reduced the number of fertilized oocytes, hatched embryos, and normal larvae. All events were temperature dependent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128935DOI Listing
March 2021

Diclofenac and caffeine inhibit hepatic antioxidant enzymes in the freshwater fish Astyanax altiparanae (Teleostei: Characiformes).

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2021 Feb 10;240:108910. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Biociências, Departamento de Fisiologia, Laboratório de Metabolismo e Reprodução de Organismos Aquáticos, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, Brazil.

Although concentrations of pharmaceutical compounds in aquatic ecosystems are low, they can cause toxic effects on organisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of diclofenac (DCF), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and caffeine (CAF), a central nervous system stimulant, both alone or combined, in Astyanax altiparanae males under acute exposure (96 h), measuring neurotoxicity biomarkers, antioxidant response and damage at biochemical and cellular levels. DCF concentration in water, separated and combined, was 3.08 mg L and that of CAF was 9.59 mg L. To assess neurotoxicity, brain and muscle acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities were measured. To evaluate oxidative stress, the enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT) and glutathione S-transferase (GST), as well as lipoperoxidation (LPO), were analyzed in liver and gills. Activity of hepatic cyclooxygenase (COX) was also evaluated. Genotoxicity was assessed in blood using comet assay and micronucleus test, as well as nuclear abnormalities. DCF and CAF, alone or combined, had neither effect on AChE activity, nor in the activity of SOD, CAT, GPx and GST in gills. In liver, DCF inhibited SOD and GPx activity, CAF inhibited CAT activity, the mixture inhibited SOD and GST activity; although only fish exposed to CAF showed increased hepatic LPO. Under these experimental conditions, no effect on COX activity was observed, nor cytotoxic and genotoxic damage. The most pronounced effects were caused by the drugs separately, since both compounds altered the enzymes, but only CAF triggered LPO, showing more harmful effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2020.108910DOI Listing
February 2021

Seasonal and social factors associated with spacing in a wild territorial electric fish.

PLoS One 2020 15;15(6):e0228976. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Unidad Bases Neurales de la Conducta, Departamento de Neurofisiología Celular y Molecular, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay.

In this study, we focused on the seasonal variation of the determinants of territory size in the weakly electric fish Gymnotus omarorum. This species is a seasonal breeder that displays year-round territorial aggression. Female and male dyads exhibit indistinguishable non-breeding territorial agonistic behavior and body size is the only significant predictor of contest outcome. We conducted field surveys across seasons that included the identification of individual location, measurements of water physico-chemical variables, characterization of individual morphometric and physiological traits, and their correlation to spatial distribution. G. omarorum tolerates a wide range of dissolved oxygen concentration, and territory size correlated positively with dissolved oxygen in both seasons. In the non-breeding season, territory size was sexually monomorphic and correlated only with body size. In the breeding season, territory size no longer correlated with body size but differed between sexes: (i) the overall spatial arrangement was sexually biased, (ii) territory size depended on gonadal hormones in both sexes, which was expected for males, but not previously reported in females, (iii) female territory size showed a positive relationship with gonadal size, and (iv) females showed relatively larger territories than males. This study demonstrates seasonal changes in the determinants of territory size and thus contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the behavioral plasticity natural territorial behavior.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0228976PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7295226PMC
August 2020

Spawning induction and embryonic development of (Characiformes: Characidae).

Zygote 2020 May 8:1-11. Epub 2020 May 8.

Centro de Biologia Marinha, Universidade de São Paulo. Rodovia Manoel Hipólito do Rego, km. 131,5, 11612-109, São Sebastião, SP, Brasil.

The present study aimed to evaluate two different methods of artificial reproduction induction, and characterize the embryonic development of Salminus hilarii. Different than observed for other tropical fish species, artificial reproduction induction followed by hand-stripping of gametes was considered unfeasible for S. hilarii, as no gamete fertilization was observed. However, females that were induced and spawned naturally presented a fertilization rate of 65.64 ± 0.54%. With a mean temperature of 26.20 ± 0.90ºC it was possible to clearly distinguish a large perivitelline space at 14 min after fertilization (AF) and at 49 min AF more than 50% of the embryos presented two blastomeres, and these cleavages occurred until 1 h 54 min AF. The gastrula phase was characterized at 3 h 56 min AF, and blastopore closure was observed at 8 h 31 min AF. At 9 h 1 min, organogenesis started, with a clear distinction of the yolk mass, embryonic axis, cephalic and caudal regions; at 11 h 51 min AF the embryos already had advanced segmentation and a free tail. Total hatching occurred at 21 h 17 min and after opening the mouth, which occurred at 33 h 9 min, the larvae of S. hilarii presented a strong and characteristic cannibalism. This information can be considered fundamental to improving S. hilarii production in captivity and for collaboration with a conservation programme in the upper Tietê river basin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0967199420000210DOI Listing
May 2020

Aluminum, at an environmental concentration, associated with acidic pH and high water temperature, causes impairment of sperm quality in the freshwater teleost Astyanax altiparanae (Teleostei: Characidae).

Environ Pollut 2020 Jul 22;262:114252. Epub 2020 Feb 22.

Universidade de São Paulo, Institute of Biosciences, Department of Physiology, Laboratory of Metabolism and Reproduction of Aquatic Organisms LAMEROA, Matão Street, 14 lane, number 101 Room 220, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

Given the toxicity of metals, including aluminum (Al), and the effects of water temperature on ectotherms, we investigated the individual or association effect of these variables (Al + acidic pH + temperature changes) on sperm quality of Astyanax altiparanae. Mature males were divided into nine experimental groups based on the combination of each of three water temperatures (20, 25, and 30 °C) with neutral and acidic pH values (7.0 and 5.5, respectively) with or without 0.5 mg L Al. The fish were subjected to subacute, semi-static exposure and at 24 and 96 h were evaluated for seminal parameters: (1) pH; (2) osmolality; (3) sperm concentration; (4) sperm morphology; (5) sperm kinetics; and (6) sperm ultrastructure. At 30 °C, Al caused a reduction in osmolality (24 and 96 h) and sperm concentration (24 h). When analysing sperm kinetics (30 s post-activation), Al caused a reduction in total motility at all temperatures (24 h), and when this exposure time was longer (96 h), both acidic pH and Al addition to the water caused sperm motility reduction. By analysing curvilinear velocity (VCL) 30 s after sperm activation (24 and 96 h), the acidic pH caused a reduction in sperm movement at 20 and 30 °C, but at 25 °C Al triggered this reduction. Finally, Al in the water caused ultrastructural changes in the sperm head, midpiece, and flagella regardless of water temperature. Also, it was found that the combination of Al at 30 °C caused a reduction in sperm head area while at 20 °C, Al triggered a reduction in the midpiece area. Therefore, acidity influenced some A. altiparanae sperm parameters but Al in the water accentuated these effects on seminal quality, especially seminal osmolality and sperm concentration, kinetics, and ultrastructure. This toxicity was also influenced by changes in water temperature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114252DOI Listing
July 2020

Resource partitioning between two young-of-year cownose rays Rhinoptera bonasus and R. brasiliensis within a communal nursery inferred by trophic biomarkers.

J Fish Biol 2019 May 8;94(5):781-788. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Departamento de Fisiologia, Laboratório de Metabolismo e Reprodução de Organismos Aquáticos, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Although interspecific trophic interactions plays a principal role within elasmobranch communal nurseries, little is known over variation in foraging strategies adopted by young-of-year of sympatric species. To test the hypothesis of dietary resource partitioning between batoids within a communal nursery, we investigated two cownose ray species, Rhinoptera bonasus and R. brasiliensis, which occur in heterospecific groups, a strategy predicted to increase survival and foraging success. Using two biochemical tracers, fatty acids (FA) and stable isotopes (δ N and δ C), the combined effects of maternal investment and the formation of heterospecific groups implying competition for, or partitioning of available food resources were investigated. Through univariate and multivariate analyses of biochemical tracers in several tissues (fin clip, muscle, liver, red blood cells; RBC) and plasma, our results revealed significant interspecific differences in tracers between the two species. Total FAs (∑saturated FA, ∑monounsaturated FA and ∑polyunsaturated FA) and trophic biomarkers (i.e., docosahexaenoic acid, arachidonic acid, oleic acid and δ N) were the principle tracers responsible for the differences detected. These data revealed that R. brasiliensis was less enriched in physiologically important essential FAs than R. bonasus. Our findings suggest that these congeneric species differ in maternal investment strategy and moderately partition food resources over relatively fine spatial scales within a single nursery habitat to limit competition. These results provide further knowledge on the foraging strategies adopted by batoids in communal nursery areas, information that is required for improving spatial conservation and management planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfb.13958DOI Listing
May 2019

Development and characterization of 20 polymorphic microsatellite markers for Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe, 1834) (Perciformes: Epinephelidae) using 454 pyrosequencing.

Genet Mol Biol 2019 Jan-Mar;42(1):74-79. Epub 2019 Feb 14.

Núcleo Integrado de Biotecnologia, Universidade de Mogi das Cruzes, Mogi das Cruzes, SP, Brazil.

The dusky grouper, Epinephelus marginatus, is a well-known and widespread marine fish assessed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Analyzing the genetic diversity of this species is, therefore, of utmost importance and necessary for conservation purposes. Microsatellites are molecular tools with advantages that are ideal for population analyses. This study provides the first set of species-specific microsatellite loci for E. marginatus that can be applied when assessing both intra- and interpopulation genetic variation. Twenty microsatellite loci were isolated and characterized for the dusky grouper by genotyping 20 individuals obtained from the North Eastern Atlantic Ocean (n = 4) and from the South Western Atlantic Ocean (n = 16). The number of alleles per locus varied from 2 to 11, while the observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.25 to 0.94 and 0.34 to 0.89, respectively. The polymorphic information content varied from moderately to highly informative. This suite of markers provides the first specific nuclear tools for E. marginatus and, thus, allows to assess with more specificity different populations' structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1678-4685-GMB-2018-0067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6428119PMC
February 2019

Gonadal steroids and energy availability during ovarian maturation stages of the Amazonian pirarucu Arapaima gigas (Teleostei: Osteoglossidae) in the wild.

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 2019 04 17;230:106-114. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

Laboratório de Metabolismo e Reprodução de Organismos Aquáticos, Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address:

The Amazonian pirarucu, Arapaima gigas, belongs to a phylogenetically basal group of teleosts (family Osteoglossidae). The commercial importance and the overexploited status of natural stocks of A. gigas brought the interest to rear it in the Amazon region, but rearing techniques are not fully understood to obtain reproduction success. Gonadal steroids (plasma and cephalic liquid), lipids and proteins (muscles, liver and ovary) of wild A. gigas females were analyzed during one year on Mexiana Island (Amazon Basin, Brazil) and ovarian maturation stages were described. The sexual gender determination method based on 11-ketostestosterone (11KT) and estradiol (E) ratio was applied to check if the value is in agreement of the sex previously determined by direct observation. Adult females were classified into four reproductive stages according to ovary development stage: previtellogenic, maturation, mature, and regression/spawning. Immature females were also analyzed. All mature females were sampled during the rainy season. Lipids stored in the ventrecha (belly) are a possible source of this substrate for the developing ovary. Plasma steroid profile throughout A. gigas female reproductive stages is similar to that found in most teleosts, but plasma 11KT levels peaked at the mature stage, suggesting an important role of this androgen in female ovulation. The 11KT/E method was 100% efficient when sexing juveniles and adults at the beginning of their reproductive cycle and can successfully be applied to identify the sexual gender of animals. The steroid profile of the cephalic liquid suggests a possible role of this fluid as a pheromone, due to the high level of 17α-hydroxyprogesterone at the final stages of the reproductive cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2019.01.008DOI Listing
April 2019

Water temperature and acid pH influence the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of aluminum in the freshwater teleost Astyanax altiparanae (Teleostei: Characidae).

Chemosphere 2019 Apr 20;220:266-274. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Universidade de São Paulo, Institute of Biosciences, Department of Physiology, Laboratory of Metabolism and Reproduction of Aquatic Organisms - LAMEROA; Matão Street, 14 lane, number 101 - room 220, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

The toxicity of metals, including aluminum (Al), can be potentiated by temperature and acid pH, a concern in view of the current global warming scenario. The aim of this study was to evaluate the bioconcentration of Al in the testes and semen of Astyanax altiparanae and the potential of this metal, at different environmental temperatures and acid pH, to cause cytotoxicity and genotocixity in erythrocytes and spermatozoa. A. altiparanae males were divided into nine experimental groups: at each of three different water temperatures (20, 25 and 30 °C), the fish were exposed to a neutral pH, an acid pH and acidic water containing Al (0.5 mg.L). The fish were subjected to subacute, semi-static exposure and sampled at 24 and 96 h. After each exposure period the comet assay (blood and semen) and micronucleus test (blood) were performed. Bioconcentration of Al was evaluated in the testes and semen. Exposure time and temperature influenced the Al bioconcentration pattern in the testes. Al concentration in the semen was higher in fish exposed at 20 and 25 °C (24 h). The DNA fragmentation score for the semen and blood was higher in fish exposed to Al at 20 (24 h) and 30 °C (96 h). The frequency of nuclear abnormalities in erythrocytes was higher in the group exposed to Al at 30 °C (96 h). It was concluded that Al bioconcentrates in the testes and semen of A. altiparanae at different temperatures and is potentially cytotoxic and genotoxic to erythrocytes and spermatozoa in this species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.12.143DOI Listing
April 2019

induced spawning using carp pituitary extract or mammalian GnRH analogue combined with dopamine receptor antagonists.

Anim Reprod 2018 Aug 16;15(1):64-70. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), , , .

Several studies have been developed to support the replacement of the crude carp pituitary extract (CPE) by synthetic products for induced reproduction of South American rheophilic species. However, results have been quite heterogeneous and there is no consensus or a routine use of synthetic products in these species. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the ovulatory process in using different protocols of hormonal induction. Thus, fifteen wild mature females maintained at the Experimental Fish Station, Salto Grande, SP, Brazil were submitted to three different hormonal treatments: CPE (fractioned dose: 0.5 and 5.0 mg kg); mGnRHa (single dose: 3.5 µg kg) and mGnRHa (single dose: 5.0 µg kg). The spawning rate and absolute fecundity were similar among the treatments, but fertility rates were higher for CPE treatment (23.60 ± 9.40) then for mGnRHa treatments (close to or zero zero). Although females ovulated in all treatments, none of them provided viable embryos, showing hatching rates close to zero or zero. Both mGnRHa treatments were more potent for inducing the ovulatory process then CPE treatment, which was evidenced by the fact that the formers showed higher volume density of postovulatory follicles (POF). Accordingly, E and 17α-OHP plasma levels were higher for the mGnRHa treated females compared to the CPE one at the time of ovulation. In this study we confirmed previous scientific evidence that, regardless of whether promoting ovulation, the use of conventional CPE and GnRH doses are not appropriate for some South American migratory species, due to the non-attainment of viable embryos. Moreover, we have brought new information about the relationship between reproductive performance and gonadal steroids concentrations using different hormonal therapies, contributing to understand the reasons for embryo loss in induced spawning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21451/1984-3143-2017-AR983DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7746223PMC
August 2018

Characterization of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone system in the Neotropical teleost, Steindachneridion parahybae during the annual reproductive cycle in captivity.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2019 03 15;273:73-85. Epub 2018 May 15.

Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, Travessa 14, 321, 05508-090 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

This study evaluated by immunohistochemical and Western blot methods, the distribution of two distinct gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRHs), corresponding to catfish GnRH (cfGnRH or GnRH1) and chicken-II GnRH (cGnRH-II or GnRH2), in Steindachneridion parahybae females in captivity, focusing these analyses on the reproductive cycle by semi-quantification of optical density (OD). Further, we found that the GnRH neuronal systems co-localized with their respective GnRH-associated peptides (GAPs). A group of neurons immunoreactive (ir) to GnRH1 were identified along the ventral region of the olfactory bulb (vOB) in the telencephalon (vTel) and in the main areas of the diencephalon (especially the medial basal hypothalamus, HBM), including fibers extending into the pituitary gland. In contrast, GnRH2 neurons were confined to the midbrain tegmentum, close to the ventricular surface, without projections to the pituitary gland. Moreover, a cfGAP (GnRH1)-specific band (9 kDa) was identified in the brain and pituitary gland, while a cGAP-II (GnRH2)-specific band (26 kDa) was observed only in the brain extract. During the reproductive cycle, GnRH1-ir presented greater OD values at the vitellogenic and regression stages than at the previtellogenic stage and after artificially induced to spawn. Larger GnRH2-ir neurons were observed during the reproductive cycle, but a higher OD was identified only in the regression stage compared with the other maturation stages. Finally, GnRH1 axons were found to be directed towards the pituitary, and this GnRH type, which is probably the hypophysiotropic form, can contribute to the reproductive dysfunction that occurs in S. parahybae females in captivity, whereas GnRH2 may act as a neuromodulator and/or neurotransmitter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2018.05.007DOI Listing
March 2019

Endocrine disruption of phenanthrene in the protogynous dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus (Serranidae: Perciformes).

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2018 02 23;257:255-263. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Laboratório de Metabolismo e Reprodução de Organismos Aquáticos, Dep. de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil; Centro de Biologia Marinha (CEBIMar), Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address:

The dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus is a protogynous hermaphrodite fish, that maintains high levels of plasma steroids as juveniles, as substrates for sex inversion. These fish are exposed to marine pollution from oil spills during cargo handling. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), such as phenanthrene (Phe), are the main crude oil components and are toxic to fish, acting as endocrine disruptors (ED). This is the first study that investigated impacts of Phe as an ED in E. marginatus juveniles. An in vivo sublethal exposure (96h) to Phe was carried out at two concentrations (0.1mg/L and 1mg/L); exposure to the vehicle (ethanol; ETOH) was also performed. Plasma levels of 17β-estradiol (E), testosterone (T) and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) were measured by ELISA. Gonads, liver and spleen were processed for histological analysis. In an in vitro bioassay, gonad fragments were incubated with Phe (8.91mg/L) or ETOH. Steroid levels in the culture media were measured by ELISA. The in vivo exposure to Phe triggered an increase of the area of the hepatocytes, increased number of melanomacrophagic centers and hemosiderosis in the spleen; ETOH induced similar effects on spleen. E and T levels did not change in plasma or in vitro media. In plasma, ETOH decreased 11-KT levels. Phenanthrene sharply reduced 11-KT levels in vitro. Although in vivo bioassay results were not unequivocal owing to ethanol effects, Phe might disrupt steroidogenesis in juvenile grouper, possibly causing dysfunctions during sex change and gonadal maturity, considering the importance of 11-KT in developing ovaries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.06.020DOI Listing
February 2018

Mechanism of action of endosulfan as disruptor of gonadal steroidogenesis in the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2016 Sep 25;187:74-80. Epub 2016 May 25.

Laboratorio de Ecotoxicología Acuática. DBBE, FCEyN, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; IBBEA, CONICET-UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address:

The organochlorine pesticide endosulfan (ES) is used in several countries as a wide spectrum insecticide on crops with high commercial value. Due to its high toxicity to non-target animals, its persistence in the environment and its ability to act as an endocrine disrupting compound in fish, ES use is currently banned or restricted in many other countries. Previous studies on the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus have shown that waterborne exposure to ES can lead to both decreased pituitary FSH content and histological alterations of testes. As gonadotropin-stimulated sex steroids release from gonads was inhibited by ES in vitro, the aim of the present study was to elucidate possible mechanisms of disruption of ES on gonadal steroidogenesis in C. dimerus, as well as compare the action of the active ingredient (AI) with that of currently used commercial formulations (CF). Testis and ovary fragments were incubated with ES (AI or CF) and/or steroidogenesis activators or precursors. Testosterone and estradiol levels were measured in the incubation media. By itself, ES did not affect hormone levels. Co-incubation with LH and the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin caused a decrease of the stimulated sex steroids release. When co-incubated with precursors dehydroandrostenedione and 17αhydroxyprogesterone, ES did not affect the increase caused by their addition alone. No differences were observed between the AI and CFs, suggesting that the effect on steroidogenesis disruption is mainly caused by the AI. Results indicate that action of ES takes place downstream of LH-receptor activation and upstream of the studied steroidogenic enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2016.05.008DOI Listing
September 2016

The role of free fatty acids in the inflammatory and cardiometabolic profile in adolescents with metabolic syndrome engaged in interdisciplinary therapy.

J Nutr Biochem 2016 07 7;33:136-44. Epub 2016 Apr 7.

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Nutrição, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil. Electronic address:

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate if interdisciplinary therapy can influence the cardiometabolic and serum free fatty acid profile. The second aim was to evaluate if there is an association between serum free fatty acids, inflammation and cardiometabolic biomarkers in obese adolescents with and without metabolic syndrome submitted to a long-term interdisciplinary therapy. The study involved 108 postpuberty obese adolescents, who were divided according to metabolic syndrome (MetS) diagnosis: MetS (n=32) and Non-MetS (n=76). The interdisciplinary therapy consisted of a 1-year period of nutrition, psychology, physical exercise and clinical support. After therapy, both groups improved metabolic, inflammatory (leptin, adiponectin, leptin/adiponectin ratio, adiponectin/leptin ratio and C-reactive protein) and cardiometabolic profile (PAI-1 and ICAM). Metabolic syndrome prevalence reduced from 28.70% to 12.96%. Both groups reduced myristic acid (C14:0) and increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n3), heneicosapentaenoic acid (HPA, C21:5n3) and arachidonic acid (C20:4n6). After adjustment for metabolic syndrome and the number of metabolic syndrome parameters, multiple regression analysis showed that changes in VCAM and PAI-1 were negatively associated with changes in cis-linoleic acid (C18:2n6c). Additionally, changes in trans-linoleic acid (C18:2n6t) were also positively associated with these biomarkers. Moreover, leptin and leptin/adiponectin ratio were negatively associated with changes in docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, C22:5n3) and stearidonic acid (SDA, C18:4n3). Adiponectin/leptin ratio was positively associated with docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, C22:5n3). Changes in adiponectin were positively correlated with changes in omega 3, such as heneicosapentaenoic acid (HPA, C21:5n3) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, C22:5n3). Results support that interdisciplinary therapy can control inflammatory and cardiometabolic profile in obese adolescents. Moreover, serum fatty acids can be influenced by lifestyle changes and are able to modulate these biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.03.017DOI Listing
July 2016

Effects of acidic water, aluminum, and manganese on testicular steroidogenesis in Astyanax altiparanae.

Fish Physiol Biochem 2016 Oct 30;42(5):1347-56. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, Trav. 14, 321, São Paulo, SP, 05508-090, Brazil.

Metals can influence the gonadal steroidogenesis and endocrine systems of fish, thereby affecting their reproduction. The effects of aluminum and manganese in acidic water were investigated on steroidogenesis in sexually mature male Astyanax altiparanae. Whether mature male fish recover from the effects of metals in metal-free water was also assessed. The fish were exposed to 0.5 mg L(-1) of isolated or combined aluminum and manganese in acidic pH (5.5) to keep the metals bioavailable. The fish underwent 96 h of acute exposure, and samples were taken 24 and 96 h after the beginning of the experiment. The fish were then maintained in metal-free water for 96 h. Plasma levels of testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone, 17β-estradiol, and cortisol were measured. Acidic water increased the plasma concentration of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone. Aluminum increased the testosterone levels after 96 h of exposure. Manganese increased the 17β-estradiol levels after 24 h of exposure and maintained at high levels until the end of the experiment. With the exception of acidic pH, which increased cortisol levels after 24 h of exposure, no changes were observed in this corticosteroid during the acute experiment. Aluminum and manganese together also altered steroid levels but without a standard variation. The fish recovered from the effects of most exposure conditions after 96 h in metal-free water. A. altiparanae could use reproductive tactics to trigger changes in testicular steroidogenesis by accelerating spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis, which may interfere with their reproductive dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10695-016-0222-6DOI Listing
October 2016

Serotonergic outcome, stress and sexual steroid hormones, and growth in a South American cichlid fish fed with an L-tryptophan enriched diet.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2015 Nov 9;223:27-37. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Laboratorio de Neuroendocrinología y Comportamiento, DBBE e IBBEA-CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, Intendente Güirlades 2160, C1428EHA Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address:

Reared animals for edible or ornamental purposes are frequently exposed to high aggression and stressful situations. These factors generally arise from conspecifics in densely breeding conditions. In vertebrates, serotonin (5-HT) has been postulated as a key neuromodulator and neurotransmitter involved in aggression and stress. The essential amino acid L-tryptophan (trp) is crucial for the synthesis of 5-HT, and so, leaves a gateway for indirectly augmenting brain 5-HT levels by means of a trp-enriched diet. The cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus, locally known as chanchita, is an autochthonous, potentially ornamental species and a fruitful laboratory model which behavior and reproduction has been studied over the last 15years. It presents complex social hierarchies, and great asymmetries between subordinate and dominant animals in respect to aggression, stress, and reproductive chance. The first aim of this work was to perform a morphological description of chanchita's brain serotonergic system, in both males and females. Then, we evaluated the effects of a trp-supplemented diet, given during 4weeks, on brain serotonergic activity, stress and sexual steroid hormones, and growth in isolated specimens. Results showed that chanchita's brain serotonergic system is composed of several populations of neurons located in three main areas: pretectum, hypothalamus and raphe, with no clear differences between males and females at a morphological level. Animals fed with trp-enriched diets exhibited higher forebrain serotonergic activity and a significant reduction in their relative cortisol levels, with no effects on sexual steroid plasma levels or growth parameters. Thus, this study points to food trp enrichment as a "neurodietary'' method for elevating brain serotonergic activity and decreasing stress, without affecting growth or sex steroid hormone levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.10.005DOI Listing
November 2015

The involvement of gonadotropins and gonadal steroids in the ovulatory dysfunction of the potamodromous Salminus hilarii (Teleostei: Characidae) in captivity.

Fish Physiol Biochem 2015 Dec 17;41(6):1435-47. Epub 2015 Jul 17.

Núcleo de Biotecnologia, Universidade de Mogi das Cruzes, Mogi das Cruzes, SP, Brazil.

Potamodromous teleosts that require migration to reproduce show dysfunctions that block ovulation and spawning while in captivity. To understand the physiological basis of these reproductive dysfunctions, follicle-stimulating hormone b subunit (fshb) and luteinizing hormone b subunit (lhb) gene expression analyses by real-time quantitative PCR, together with measurements of estradiol (E 2), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17α-OHP) and 17α,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17α,20β-DHP) levels, were carried out throughout the reproductive cycle of the potamodromous Salminus hilarii. The following reproductive stages were evaluated in captive and wild females: previtellogenic (PV), advanced maturation/mature (AM) and regression/spent (REG/SPENT). In the wild females, fshb expression decreased from the PV to the AM stage, and the opposite pattern was detected for E 2, which increased from the PV to the AM stage. fshb was expressed at lower levels in captive than in wild females, and this difference did not change during the reproductive cycle. lhb expression also increased from the PV to the AM stage in both groups, but the wild females at the AM and REG/SPENT stages showed higher lhb expression levels than the captive females. The concentrations of 17α-OHP did not change during the reproductive cycle, and the levels were higher in the captive than in the wild females at all reproductive stages. 17α,20β-DHP levels did not change between wild and captive females. However, in captive females, the transition from PV to AM stage was followed by an increase in 17α,20β-DHP levels. These data indicate that dysfunctions in the gonadotropins and steroids synthesis pathways cause the ovulation failure in captive S. hilarii.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10695-015-0097-yDOI Listing
December 2015

Gonadotropins and Growth Hormone Family Characterization in an Endangered Siluriform Species, Steindachneridion parahybae (Pimelodidae): Relationship With Annual Reproductive Cycle and Induced Spawning in Captivity.

Anat Rec (Hoboken) 2015 Sep 22;298(9):1644-58. Epub 2015 Jun 22.

Departamento De Fisiologia, Instituto De Biociências, Universidade De São Paulo, Rua Do Matão, Travessa 14, 321, São Paulo, 05508-090, SP, Brasil.

The aim of this study was to identify and characterize pituitary cells of Steindachneridion parahybae females in captivity, highlighting the possible relationship with reproductive disorders at this level, since this species shows oocyte final maturation, ovulation and spawning dysfunction in captivity. The localization and distribution of growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), somatolactin (SL), β-luteinizing hormone (β-LH), and β-follicle stimulating hormone (β-FSH) immunoreactive (-ir) cells in the adenohypophysis was studied by immunohistochemical and Western blot methods. In addition, cellular morphometric analyses and semi-quantification of ir-cells optical density (OD) during the annual reproductive cycle and after artificial induced spawning (AIS) were performed. Results showed that the distribution and general localization of pituitary cell types were similar to that of other teleost species. However, the morphometrical study of adenohypophysial cells showed differences along the reproductive cycle and following AIS. In general, females at the vitellogenic stage presented greater OD values for GH, PRL and SL than at other maturation stages (previtellogenic and regression stages), probably indicating an increased cellular activity during this stage. Conversely, β-LH OD did not vary during the annual reproductive cycle. After AIS, β-LH, SL and GH ir-cells showed an increase in OD values suggesting a possible involvement on oocyte final maturation, ovulation and spawning or a feedback control on the brain-pituitary-gonads axis. Reproductive dysfunction in S. parahybae females in captivity may be due to alteration of the synthesis pathways of β-LH. In addition, GH family of hormones could modulate associated mechanisms that influence the reproductive status in this species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ar.23174DOI Listing
September 2015

Reproductive and parental care physiology of Cichlasoma dimerus males.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2015 Sep 14;221:193-200. Epub 2015 Feb 14.

Laboratorio de Neuroendocrinología y Comportamiento, DBBE, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires (C1428EHA), Buenos Aires, Argentina; IBBEA-CONICET-UBA, Ciudad Universitaria (C1428EHA), Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address:

The South American cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus presents a high breeding frequency and biparental care of the eggs and larvae. The male parental care period was divided in four different phases according to the developmental degree of the offspring: pre-spawning activity (MP, day 0), guarding eggs (ME, one day after fertilization (1 DAF)), guarding hatched larvae (MHL, 3 DAF), and guarding swimming larvae (MSL, 8 DAF). The aim of this study was to characterize male reproductive physiology by measuring steroid hormone plasma levels and analyzing testes cellular composition. Males exhibiting pre-spawning activity showed 8.4 times higher 11-ketotestosterone and 5.63 times higher testosterone levels than MHL. No differences were observed in estradiol and cortisol levels among the different phases. The cellular composition of the testes varied during the reproductive and parental care periods. Testes of MP were composed of 50% of spermatozoa, whereas spermatogonia type B and spermatocytes were predominant in the subsequent parental phases. A morphometric analysis of Leydig cells nuclear area revealed that MP and ME's Leydig cells averaged 1.27 times larger than that those of MHL and MSL and was positively correlated with circulating 11-KT and T levels. Hence, C. dimerus males showed important changes in its hormonal profiles and testicular cellular composition throughout the reproductive and parental care period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.02.004DOI Listing
September 2015

The role of ovarian steroids in reproductive plasticity in Hoplias malabaricus (Teleostei: Characiformes: Erythrinidae) in tropical reservoirs with different degrees of pollution.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2015 Oct 24;222:1-10. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, Trav. 14, 321, São Paulo 05508-090, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

Chemicals in aquatic environments may lead to impairment of fish reproduction, but some species display plasticity levels to survive and reproduce in such localities. We investigated the reproductive cycle in a teleost species, Hoplias malabaricus, which inhabits a variety of environments with different degrees of pollution. Adult females were sampled at two locations in São Paulo State (Brazil), the reference Ponte Nova (PN) reservoir and the polluted Billings (BIL) reservoir. Metabolic and endocrine processes were analyzed throughout the annual cycle with special attention to ovarian histology, gonadosomatic index (GSI), fecundity, ovarian energetic substrates and plasma steroids analyses, in addition to physical and chemical analyses of the water. Pollutants were frequent in BIL but not in PN. The GSI, including the predominance of vitellogenic oocytes, was higher in spring and summer in both locations, but the oocyte recruitment dynamics was different. During winter, females from BIL presented vitellogenic oocytes and high levels of 11-ketotestosterone, which indicated precocity in the vitellogenic phase in relation to the females from PN. In animals from PN, high deposition of lipids occurred in the ovaries. However, plasma estradiol levels did not vary throughout the annual cycle. In animals from BIL, plasma estradiol levels peaked during the summer, but the ovarian lipid content remained unchanged throughout the year. The data suggest that the presence of pollutants cause various endocrine and metabolic responses and especially affects reproductive plasticity, which could explain why H. malabaricus survives under unfavorable environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.10.008DOI Listing
October 2015

The interrenal gland in males of the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus: relationship with stress and the establishment of social hierarchies.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2014 Jan 30;195:88-98. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, (C1428EHA) Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address:

In teleosts, cortisol is the primary glucocorticoid secreted by the steroidogenic cells of the interrenal gland and an increase in its plasma concentration is a frequent indicator of stress. Cortisol has been postulated as an endogenous mediator involved in the regulation of reproduction and aggression related to social dynamics. The cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus, is a monogamous species that exhibits complex social hierarchies; males appear in one of two basic alternative phenotypes: non-territorial and territorial males. In this work, we postulated as a general hypothesis that the morphometry of the interrenal gland cells and the plasma levels of cortisol and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) are related to the social rank in adult males of C. dimerus. First, the location and distribution of the interrenal gland with respect to its context - the kidney - was studied. Plasma levels of cortisol and 11-KT in territorial and non-territorial males were established by ELISA. Finally, a morphometric analysis of steroidogenic and chromaffin cells of the interrenal gland was performed. Results showed that the interrenal gland was exclusively located in the posterior portion of the cephalic kidney. Non-territorial males presented a greater nuclear area of their steroidogenic cells. Additionally, plasma cortisol and 11-KT levels were lower and higher, respectively, in territorial males. Finally, plasma cortisol levels positively correlated with the nuclear area of interrenal steroidogenic cells. Thus, the interrenal gland, by means of one of its products, cortisol, may be fulfilling an important role in the establishment of social hierarchies and their stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.10.009DOI Listing
January 2014

Immunohistochemical study of pituitary cells in wild and captive Salminus hilarii (Characiformes: Characidae) females during the annual reproductive cycle.

Springerplus 2013 13;2:460. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, Trav. 14, N° 321, 05508-090 São Paulo, SP Brazil.

Freshwater fish that live exclusively in rivers are at particular risk from fragmentation of the aquatic system, mainly the species that migrate upriver for reproduction. That is the case of Salminus hilarii, an important migratory species currently classified as "almost threatened" in the São Paulo State (Brazil), facing water pollution, dam construction, riparian habitat destruction and environmental changes that are even more serious in this State. Additionally, this species show ovulation dysfunction in captivity. Our studies focused on the identification and distribution of the pituitary cell types in the adenohypophysis of S. hilarii females, including a morphometric analysis that compares pituitary cells from wild and captive broodstocks during the reproductive annual cycle. The morphology of adenohypophysial cells showed differences following the reproductive cycle and the environment. In general, optical density suggested a higher cellular activity during the previtellogenic (growth hormone) and vitellogenic (somatolactin) stages in both environments. Additionally, the nucleus/cell ratio analysis suggested that growth hormone and somatolactin cells were larger in wild than in captive females in most reproductive stages of the annual cycle. In contrast, prolactin hormone showed no variation throughout the reproductive cycle (in both environments). Morphometrical analyses related to reproduction of S. hilarii in different environmental conditions, suggest that somatolactin and growth hormone play an important role in reproduction in teleost and can be responsible for the regulation of associated processes that indirectly affect reproductive status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-2-460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3786080PMC
October 2013

Involvement of pituitary gonadotropins, gonadal steroids and breeding season in sex change of protogynous dusky grouper, Epinephelus marginatus (Teleostei: Serranidae), induced by a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2013 Oct 19;192:170-80. Epub 2013 Jun 19.

Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, Trav. 14, 321, São Paulo 05508-090, SP, Brazil; Centro de Biologia Marinha da Universidade de São Paulo (CEBIMar/USP), Rodovia Manoel Hypólito do Rego, Km. 131,5, São Sebastião CEP 11600-000, SP, Brazil.

Two experiments were performed using the aromatase inhibitor (AI) letrozole (100mg/kg) to promote sex change, from female-to-male, in protogynous dusky grouper. One experiment was performed during the breeding season (spring) and the other at the end of the breeding season (summer). During the spring, AI promoted sex change after 9 weeks and the sperm produced was able to fertilize grouper oocytes. During the summer, the sex change was incomplete; intersex individuals were present and sperm was not released by any of the animals. Sex changed gonads had a lamellar architecture; cysts of spermatocytes and spermatozoa in the lumen of the germinal compartment. In the spring, after 4 weeks, 11ketotestosterone (11KT) levels were higher in the AI than in control fish, and after 9 weeks, coincident with semen release, testosterone levels increased in the AI group, while 11KT returned to the initial levels. Estradiol (E2) levels remained unchanged during the experimental period. Instead of decreasing throughout the period, as in control group, 17 α-OH progesterone levels did not change in the AI-treated fish, resulting in higher values after 9 weeks when compared with control fish. fshβ and lhβ gene expression in the AI animals were lower compared with control fish after 9 weeks. The use of AI was effective to obtain functional males during the breeding season. The increase in androgens, modulated by gonadotropins, triggered the sex change, enabling the development of male germ cells, whereas a decrease in E2 levels was not required to change sex in dusky grouper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.06.012DOI Listing
October 2013

Dominance hierarchies and social status ascent opportunity: anticipatory behavioral and physiological adjustments in a Neotropical cichlid fish.

Physiol Behav 2012 Jul 12;106(5):612-8. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, (C1428EHA) Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In this work we characterized the social hierarchy of non-reproductive individuals of Cichlasoma dimerus (Heckel, 1840), independently for both sexes, and its relationship to the opportunity for social status ascent. Female and male individuals who were located on the top rank of the social hierarchy, ascended in social status when the opportunity arose, therefore indicating that dominance is directly correlated with social ascent likelihood. Dominance was positively correlated with size in males but not in females, suggesting for the latter a relationship with intrinsic features such as aggressiveness or personality rather than to body and/or ovarian size. Physiological and morphometrical variables related to reproduction, stress and body color were measured in non-reproductive fish and correlated with dominance and social ascent likelihood. Dominance was negatively correlated with plasma cortisol levels for both sexes. No correlation with dominance was found for androgen plasma levels (testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone). No correlation was detected between dominance and the selected morphological and physiological variables measured in females, suggesting no reproductive inhibition in this sex at a physiological level and that all females seem to be ready for reproduction. In contrast, social hierarchy of non-reproductive males was found to be positively correlated with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) pituitary content levels and gonadosomatic indexes. This suggests an adaptive mechanism of non reproductive males, adjusting their reproductive investment in relation to their likelihood for social status ascent, as perceived by their position in the social hierarchy. This likelihood is translated into a physiological signal through plasma cortisol levels that inhibit gonad investment through pituitary inhibition of FSH, representing an anticipatory response to the opportunity for social status ascent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.04.003DOI Listing
July 2012