The most commonly observed reproductivedysfunctions in cultured fish are theunpredictability of final oocyte maturation(FOM) in females, and the diminished volume andquality of sperm in males. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa)have been used extensively in order tostimulate the release of pituitary luteinizinghormone (LH) required to induce FOM, ovulationand spermiation. Because multiple hormonaltreatments are often necessary for a successfulresponse, fish must be monitored and handledextensively, which is labor intensive,stressful to the fish and can often result inbroodstock mortalities. To ameliorate thisproblem, sustained-release delivery systems forGnRHa have been developed during the last twodecades and have been increasingly applied incontrolling reproduction of a variety ofcultured fish. Solid implants of cholesterolor poly[ethylene-vinyl acetate], andbiodegradable microspheres ofpoly[lactide-glycolide] or poly[fatty aciddimer-sebasic acid] release GnRHa for a periodof time (from a few days to many weeks.) GnRHa-delivery systems do not causedesensitization of the pituitary gonadotrophsin fish, and by stimulating a sustainedelevation of plasma LH they induce the naturalprogression of plasma steroid increasesassociated with FOM and spermiation. Thismethod has been used with very encouragingresults in females of more than 40 culturedspecies and has been effective in inducing FOM,ovulation or spawning in fish with synchronous,group-synchronous and asynchronous ovariandevelopment. In males, GnRHa-delivery systemshave been tested in more than 20 species,producing significant increases in miltproduction for up to 5 weeks. Future researchshould focus on the optimization of thistechnology in terms of (a) using the mostpotent GnRHa, (b) identifying the mostappropriate GnRHa release kinetics according tothe reproductive biology of different species,and (c) determining minimum effective doses. Developments in these areas will greatlyenhance the effectiveness and efficiency ofGnRHa-delivery systems, while at the same timereducing their cost thus making them moreaffordable to the aquaculture industry.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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