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Characterization of tachykinin system and role in reproduction in the European eel

Team 2: Reproduction and development of aquatic organisms: evolution, adaptation, regulations

CAMPO Aurora

Year of defence: 

The aim of this PhD is to investigate the role of brain neuropeptides, such as neurokinin B, encoded by tac3 gene, in the control of reproduction of an endangered species, the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. The sexual maturation of the eel is blocked at a prepubertal stage before the oceanic migration. Due to its basal phylogenetic position among teleosts, the eel is also a relevant model for studying the molecular and functional evolution of key neuropeptides. Two tachykinin 3 (tac3) paralogous genes were identified in the eel genome, each encoding two peptides. These paralogs result from the teleost-specific whole genome duplication, as shown by phylogeny and synteny analyses. Both genes are expressed in the brain as shown by qPCR. The four eel peptides were synthesized and tested on primary cultures of eel pituitary cells. The four peptides inhibited the expression of luteinizing hormone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor, revealing a dual inhibitory role in the control of reproduction.