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The effect of steroid hormones on the development of the reproductive system of Salmo trutta L when administered at the commencement of spermatogenetic activity in the testes



The effect of steroid hormones on the development of the reproductive system of Salmo trutta L when administered at the commencement of spermatogenetic activity in the testes



Riv Biol [Perugia] 58(2/3): 139-169



Studies on the development of the reproductive system of the brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) indicate that the period of stasis of the germinal cells in the testis does not end until the length of individuals is approaching 6 cm, which is much later than in the case of the ovary. Spermatogenesis had not proceeded beyond the formation of solid cordons of spermatogonia in the most advanced stage studied when the average length of individuals was 8.4 cm, the culture having been kept at normal out-door temperatures and the final sample taken at the end of Oct. towards the end of the year 0. The ovaries of a proportion of the females reared under these conditions of temperature contained occasional nests of spermatogonia and spermatocytes. In the females of the final sample the mean diameter of the largest occytes ranged between 120 and 180 [mu] in the various individuals sectioned. Steroid hormones were added as alcoholic solutions to the culture medium, from the time when activity of the germinal tissue in the testes was just beginning. 40 [mu]g of estradiol and of testosterone, respectively, 67 [mu]g of progesterone and 80 [mu]g of DOCA were administered 8 hr. a day for 2 months and the concentrations doubled for a 3rd month. The estradiol had no effect on the ovaries but increased the extent and intensity of hypertrophy of the somatopleure, speeded the development of the terminal median oviduct and caused enlargement of the urogenital papilla. In the males it caused the elimination of germinal tissue in the testes and a slighter degree of hypertrophy of the somatopleure. Outside the reproductive system, estradiol was apparently responsible for the atrophy of a proportion of muscle fibers in the somites and an increase in basophilia of precipitates from the body fluids. The effects of testosterone were similar to those of estradiol in previous experiments. There was some inhibition of activity of the germinal epithelium in females and the degree of stimulation of development of the terminal median oviduct and of the urogenital papilla was usually less; in males the inhibition of development of the testes was greater, the somatic as well as the germinal tissue being almost completely or completely eliminated. In addition, in both sexes testosterone produced only slightly the changes induced by estradiol outside the reproductive system. Progesterone and DOCA inhibited the activity of the germinal epithelium and the formation of oocytes, but had no further effects on the females. DOCA had no effect on the males; but progesterone induced virtual completion of spermatogenesis. In one individual spermatids maturing into spermatozoa were present. It is concluded that steroid hormones can have truly stimulating, inductive effect on the juvenile gonads. As teleosts are concerned, the evidence supports AncePs thesis that sexual differentiaion is primarily a function of the differing reactivity of the blastemata in the 2 sexes, rather than one of different identity and effect of inductors. Individuals of a culture treated with a higher concentration of alcohol than those used in the various experimental cultures, were indistinguishable from those of the untreated cultures.

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