Int. J. Dev. Biol. 36: 247 - 254 (1992)
© UBC Press

Eggshell zona radiata-proteins from cod (Gadus morhua): extra-ovarian origin and induction by estradiol-17 beta.

D O Oppen-Berntsen, S J Hyllner, C Haux, J V Helvik and B T Walther

Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Bergen, Norway.

ABSTRACT Using Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) as a model organism, the aim of this report was to delineate whether teleostean eggshell zona radiata proteins have their origin, i.e., site of synthesis, in gonadal or somatic tissues. Estradiol-17 beta was administered intraperitoneally to one-year-old cod (Gadus morhua) with either undeveloped gonads or with differentiated gonads. By immunoblotting procedures estradiol-dependent protein induction was investigated using specific rabbit antisera directed against cod eggshell proteins and brown trout vitellogenin. No immunological cross-reactions were observed between the two antisera, and eggshell proteins and vitellogenin were detected in blood plasma and somatic tissues only in estradiol-treated cod. Three plasma-components were immunoreactive to antiserum directed against eggshell proteins, and these proteins possessed molecular weights of 78, 54 and 47 kDa, identical to the molecular weights of the cod eggshell alpha, beta and gamma zona radiata-proteins. These three immunoreactive plasma-components were observed after administration of estradiol-17 beta to both sexes, also in males having reached spermiation, and in juveniles of either sex without developed gonads. The data are interpreted to signify that cod eggshell zona radiata-proteins originate in an extra-ovarian tissue and are transported in the blood for deposition in the ovaries. We propose that oogenesis involves estradiol-17 beta regulation of both eggshell zona radiata-proteins and vitellogenin synthesis.