Currently, spawning is induced in carp species by carp pituitary extract (CPE) and a combination of synthetic agonist of GnRH combined with a dopamine antagonist. The main goal of this study was the production of recombinant gonadotropins (GtHs) on a large scale to serve as an alternative to currently used agents. We produced carp (c) recombinant (r) Lh as a single chain in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. Lha subunit was joined with Lhb subunit with a flexible linker of three glycine-serine repeats and six Histidines to form a mature protein, the p-subunit formed the N-terminal part and the a-subunit formed the C-terminal part. The ability of the rcLh to elicit biological response was tested by in vivo stimulation of estradiol (E2) and 17A,20B-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (DHP) and by its in vivo potency to induce ovulation and spawning induction. rcLh tested in this work significantly enhanced both E2 and DHP secretion in a dose-dependent manner similar to the results obtained with CPE. E2 levels showed a moderate rise following the priming injection and a subsequent decrease during the rest of the trial. DHP levels were only increased after the resolving injection, approximately 5 h before spawning. At the highest dose of rcLh (350 μg/kg BW), the recombinant protein was more efficient than CPE in terms of both spawning success and fertilization rate. It is shown here that rcLh can elicit the secretion of DHP in vivo and actually trigger spawning. These novel findings introduce the potential of utilizing recombinant gonadotropins in aquaculture.
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