Corticosteroid receptor expression in a teleost fish that displays alternative male reproductive tactics

General and Comparative Endocrinology
Adam S ArterberyAndrew H Bass

Abstract

Corticosteroid signaling mechanisms mediate a wide range of adaptive physiological responses, including those essential to reproduction. Here, we investigated the presence and relative abundance of corticosteroid receptors during the breeding season in the plainfin midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus), a species that has two male reproductive morphs. Only type I "singing" males acoustically court females and aggressively defend a nest site, whereas type II "sneaker" males steal fertilizations from nesting type I males. Cloning and sequencing first identified glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptors in midshipman that exhibited high sequence identity with other vertebrate GRs and MRs. Absolute-quantitative real-time PCR then revealed higher levels of GR in the central nervous system (CNS) of type II males than type I males and females, while GR levels in the sound-producing, vocal muscle and the liver were higher in type I males than type II males and females. MR expression was also greater in the CNS of type II males than type I males or females, but the differences were more modest in magnitude. Lastly, plasma levels of cortisol, the main glucocorticoid in teleosts, were 2- to 3-fold greater in type II males co...Continue Reading

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