Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Total organism content of L-thyroxine (T4) and triiodo-L-thyronine (T3) were measured in the early developmental stages of a stock of Lake Ontario coho salmon from the egg to the yolk absorption stage. Whole organism T4 levels were constant between the egg and pre-hatch embryo stages, but fell progressively during yolk absorption. T3 levels were low from egg to eye-pigment appearance, but then increased prior to hatch and fell again during the post-hatch yolk absorption period. When expressed as ng/tissue, T4 content of the body compartment rose progressively between days 67 and 87 post-fertilization, whilst T4 content of the yolk compartment fell progressively during the same period; the pattern was not evident for tissue T3 content. When expressed as ng/g dry weight of tissue, the inverse relationship was found for T4, and T3 content of the body and yolk compartments decreased progressively and increased progressively, respectively during the same period, suggesting that thyroid hormones were selectively retained in the yolk compartment. Intensely “immunostained” (using anti-human β-TSH antibody) thyrotropic cells were present in small numbers in the pars distalis of the embryonic pituitary at the eye-pigment appearance stage, and the numbers increased markedly until the pre-hatch period. Administration of either bovine thyrotropic hormone (bTSH) or ovine growth hormone (oGH) had no effect on thyroid hormone content of larvae challenged during the yolk absorption period, suggesting that the thyroid tissue was not responsive to exogenous bTSH challenge at this time, and that oGH-sensitive 5′-monodeiodination was either not present or at levels that were too low to cause an elevation in total T3 content, or that the substrate levels were insufficient to permit a measureable increase in whole body T3 content.
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