Title

The seminal vesicle synthesizes steroids in the round goby Neogobius melanostomus

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Publication Title

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Volume

148

Issue

1

First Page

117

Last Page

123

DOI

10.1016/j.cbpa.2007.03.034

Abstract

In this study, we examine the possible contribution of the seminal vesicles of the male round goby to the production of putative steroidal pheromones. A previous study showed that the testes of the round goby are rich in steroid-producing Leydig-like cells; and when incubated in vitro, convert tritiated androstenedione to at least six other steroids, including one not previously identified in fish — namely 3α-hydroxy-5β-androstane-11,17-dione (11-oxo-etiocholanolone, 11-oxo-ETIO). The seminal vesicles of reproductively mature males were examined by conventional histology, transmission electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry (utilizing an antibody against 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase — a key enzyme in vertebrate steroid synthesis). All three procedures identified Leydig cells in the proximal and medial regions of the seminal vesicles. In vitro incubation of seminal vesicles with tritiated androstenedione demonstrated biosynthesis of 11-oxo-androstenedione, 11-oxo-testosterone (more commonly known as 11-ketotestosterone) and 11 oxo-ETIO. These data indicate that the seminal vesicles, as well as the testes are involved in the synthesis of steroidal compounds that may function as pheromones.

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