Sex-change is an intriguing phenomenon that is common among certain groups of teleost fishes. The process itself has a number of independent origins, although in each case it is initiated and (or) regulated by gonadal steroids. Despite the commercial importance of sex-change technology to fish culturists, our understanding of the relationship between steroids and sex-change is, at best, rudimentary. In this paper I review the current state of knowledge concerning (a) which steroids are involved, (b) how such steroids mediate sex-change, and (c) how steroidogenesis is regulated during gonadal transition. I conclude that the steroidal endocrinology of sex-change is multifarious and species specific – a result which challenges the relative stability of vertebrate endocrine axes, but one which probably reflects the independent evolution of this adaptation.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 22, 2005
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