Time- and Dose-related Effects of a Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone Agonist and Dopamine Antagonist on Reproduction in the Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) and the Western Clawed Frog (Silurana tropicalis)

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Title: Time- and Dose-related Effects of a Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone Agonist and Dopamine Antagonist on Reproduction in the Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) and the Western Clawed Frog (Silurana tropicalis)
Authors: Vu, Maria
Date: 2017
Abstract: The recent decline and disappearance of many amphibians around the world is thought to be the sign of an impending sixth mass extinction that is driven by disease, habitat loss and pollution. Reproductive technologies are now required to establish captive colonies followed by reintroduction into suitable habitats. The AMPHIPLEX method is a hormone mixture that has successfully stimulated spawning in several amphibians. However, its extensive application requires further experimentation and knowledge regarding the basic neuroendocrine control of reproduction in amphibians. The role of the catecholamine neurotransmitter dopamine in the regulation of spawning and gonadotropin synthesis was investigated using multiple time- and dose-related approaches in the field and laboratory. These end points were explored in two distantly-related frog species: the Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) and the Western clawed frog (Silurana tropicalis). Northern leopard frogs were injected during the natural breeding season with three doses of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-A) (0.1 μg/g , 0.2 μg/g and 0.4 μg/g) alone and in combination with two doses of the selective dopamine receptor D2 antagonist metoclopramide (MET) (5 μg/g and 10 μg/g). Injected animals were allowed to breed in mesocosms in an outdoor field. Time to amplexus and oviposition were assessed, and egg mass release, incidences of amplexus, egg mass weight, total egg numbers and fertilization rates were measured. The results revealed no statistically significant interaction between GnRH-A and MET on amplexus and oviposition. A series of GnRH-A dose-response spawning studies were conducted in the Western clawed frog. The current findings indicate that partial ovulation, male sexual behavior and fertilization can be induced by 4 μg/g of GnRH-A alone and in combination with 10 μg/g of MET. This represents a first step towards understanding basic neuroendocrine reproductive mechanisms in this species. These spawning results were paired with a second end point which explored the molecular mechanisms of gonadotropin synthesis in response to GnRH-A and MET alone and in combination. Pituitary gene expression results in the Northern leopard frog indicate a potentiating action of MET when combined with GnRH-A on the mRNA levels of gonadotropin subunits 36 hours following injection. The postulated mechanisms of action are through the upregulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 and the downregulation of dopamine receptor D2. Such gene expression pathways were similarly explored in the Western clawed frog, however no significant changes in pituitary gonadotropin and receptor gene expression were present at 12 hours post-injection. The hypothesized inhibitory action of dopamine was supported by pituitary gene expression analysis, but not by spawning outcome. The results from this study provide a fundamental framework for future time- and dose-response investigations to improve current spawning methods in amphibians.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/36024
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-20304
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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