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A Model of Hormonal and Environmental Involvement in Growth and Sex Differentiation in European Eel Anguilla anguilla

Growth in vertebrates is a complex interaction involving the development of cells, tissues and organs. Hormones regulating growth during maturation are involved mainly in the interaction between the somatic axis and the reproduction of brain-pituitary axes. Based on the results of hormone and gene transcriptions, the secretion and treatment controlling both the somatic axis and the gonadotropic axis were affected, directly or indirectly, by the environment parameter through hormones that were studied in my laboratory. A model was proposed for sex differentiation and gonadal development correlating to the growth of European eel (Anguilla anguilla). A high growth variation is affected by the environment. At a low density of eels, the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) affected the secretion follicle stimulation hormone (FSH) in the pituitary, steroidogenesis and aromatase (CYP19) synthesis, and the 17β-estradiol (E2) from 11-ketotestosterone (Kt-11) causing ovary development. The ovary secretion E2 affecting the adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), growth hormone (GH) and the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) stimulated rapid growth in females. On the other hand, a high density of eels caused the pituitary gland to secrete FSH at a lower level, and CYP19 was not synthesized in the gonads. The secretion of Kt-11 affected differentiation to testis, which inhibits the somatic axis in reducing growth rate.


Gad Degani

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