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Whole-body concentrations of cortisol and sex steroids in white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus, Richardson 1836) during early development and stress response
Simontacchi, C.; Negrato, E.; Pazzaglia, M.; Bertotto, D.; Poltronieri, C.; Radaelli, G. (2009). Whole-body concentrations of cortisol and sex steroids in white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus, Richardson 1836) during early development and stress response. Aquacult. Int. 17(1): 7-14. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10499-008-9174-x
In: Aquaculture International. Springer: London. ISSN 0967-6120, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Development; Eggs; Larvae; Stress; Acipenser transmontanus Richardson, 1836 [WoRMS]; Pisces [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Simontacchi, C.
  • Negrato, E.
  • Pazzaglia, M.
  • Bertotto, D.
  • Poltronieri, C.
  • Radaelli, G.

Abstract
    In general little is known about hormones and the ontogeny of the stress response in the early developmental stages of chondrostean fishes and in particular of white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus, Richardson 1836). In this study, we measured for the first time cortisol and sex steroids (testosterone and estradiol) in eggs, larvae, post-larvae, and fry of white sturgeon by radioimmunoassay (RIA), to elucidate some endocrine aspects of its development. The cortisol, testosterone, and 17ß-estradiol of maternal origin found in unfertilized eggs of white sturgeon probably regulate both growth and development of the embryo. Cortisol decreased after fertilization, whereas testosterone and 17ß-estradiol did not significantly change. During the late stages of embryo development and immediately after hatching, endogenous production of cortisol and sexual steroids, respectively, occurred. Sex steroids may be physiological inducers of gonad sex differentiation in sturgeon. All steroids showed an increase 10 days post-hatch (dph), near the transition from an endogenous to an exogenous energy source. Cortisol maintained the same basal levels even after metamorphosis, whereas testosterone and 17ß-estradiol declined significantly in post-larvae at 35 and 45 days post-hatch. In addition, to evaluate the ontogeny of a functional hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal (HPI) axis, larvae and fry were submitted to acute stress. The HPI axis did not seem to be functional on the first day post-hatch, but became so from the third day post-hatch onward.

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