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The thyroid gland and thyroid hormones in sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) during early development and metamorphosis
Schnitzler, J.G.; Klaren, P.H.M.; Mariavelle, E.; Das, K. (2016). The thyroid gland and thyroid hormones in sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) during early development and metamorphosis. Fish Physiol. Biochem. 42(2): 607-616.
In: Fish Physiology and Biochemistry. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0920-1742; e-ISSN 1573-5168, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Cyprinodon variegatus Lacepède, 1803 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Thyroxine; 3,5,3 '-Triiodothyronine; Sheepshead minnow; Development

Authors  Top 
  • Schnitzler, J.G., more
  • Klaren, P.H.M.
  • Mariavelle, E., more
  • Das, K., more

    The sheepshead minnow is widely used in ecotoxicological studies that only recently have begun to focus on disruption of the thyroid axis by xenobiotics and endocrine disrupting compounds. However, reference levels of the thyroid prohormone thyroxine (T4) and biologically active hormone 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) and their developmental patterns are unknown. This study set out to describe the ontogeny and morphology of the thyroid gland in sheepshead minnow, and to correlate these with whole-body concentrations of thyroid hormones during early development and metamorphosis. Eggs were collected by natural spawning in our laboratory. T4 and T3 were extracted from embryos, larvae and juveniles and an enzyme-linked immunoassay was used to measure whole-body hormone levels. Length and body mass, hatching success, gross morphology, thyroid hormone levels and histology were measured. The onset of metamorphosis at 12-day post-hatching coincided with surges in whole-body T4 and T3 concentrations. Thyroid follicles were first observed in pre-metamorphic larvae at hatching and were detected exclusively in the subpharyngeal region, surrounding the ventral aorta. Follicle size and thyrocyte epithelial cell heights varied during development, indicating fluctuations in thyroid hormone synthesis activity. The increase in the whole-body T3/T4 ratio was indicative of an increase in outer ring deiodination activity. This study establishes a baseline for thyroid hormones in sheepshead minnows, which will be useful for the understanding of thyroid hormone functions and in future studies of thyroid toxicants in this species.

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