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Gen Comp Endocrinol 2010 Sep 01;1682:239-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.02.012.
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Expression profiles of LHbeta, FSHbeta and their gonadal receptor mRNAs during sexual differentiation of Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

Urbatzka R , Lorenz C , Lutz I , Kloas W .

The gonadotropins, luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), are important hormones regulating reproductive biology in vertebrates, especially the processes of steroidogenesis and gamete maturation. Despite the role of gonadotropins during the reproductive cycle in amphibians is well established, much less is known about the functional maturation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis during larval development. Therefore, the present study aimed to analyze the expression profiles of hypophyseal LHbeta and FSHbeta mRNA and of their corresponding gonadal receptors (LH-R, FSH-R) in Xenopus laevis tadpoles during their ontogeny and sexual differentiation. The first significant elevation of LHbeta and FSHbeta mRNA was observed at late premetamorphosis. A clear raise of LHbeta mRNA was present during prometamorphic stages especially in males, while the LH-R only slowly increased during ontogeny with highest levels during metamorphic climax. In contrast, FSHbeta mRNA expression only slightly increased during ontogeny, however in both sexes the FSH-R mRNA was considerably elevated at prometamorphosis and further at metamorphic climax. Our results suggest that LHbeta and LH-R mRNA expression might be involved in initial maturation events of gametes, at least in males, while the gradually increase of FSH-R mRNA coincided with the advancing process of gamete maturation in both sexes. The present study provides for the first time evidence based on expression of gonadotropins and their corresponding gonadal receptors that the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis evolves already at early stages of ontogeny and sexual differentiation in amphibians.

PubMed ID: 20171219
Article link: Gen Comp Endocrinol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: fshb fshr lhb