Ultimobranchial gland respond in a different way in male and female fresh water teleost Mastacembelus armatus (Lacepede) during reproductive cycle
Highlights•Calcitonin is involved in gonadal maturation in Mastacembelus armatus irrespective of the sex.•In females it also regulates total plasma calcium level during ovarian cycle.•In males it is not involved in calcium regulation during gonadal cycle.AbstractThe present study was carried out to analyze the differences in the activity of ultimobranchial gland (UBG) between male and female fresh water teleost Mastacembelus armatus during reproductive cycle. Considerable variations in the nuclear diameter of UBG cells and plasma calcitonin (CT) levels during different reproductive phases of testicular and ovarian cycle suggested that the activity of the UBG depends upon the sexual maturity of fishes. A positive correlation was observed between plasma CT and sex steroid levels and the gonadosomatic index in both sexes which further confirmed the involvement of UBG in the processes related to gonadal development in fishes irrespective of the sex. Sudden increase in the level of plasma CT and nuclear diameter of UBG cells after administration of 17 α-methyltestosterone in males and 17 β-estradiol in females during resting phase of the reproductive cycle clearly showed that UBG becomes hyperactive with increases in the level of sex steroids. Plasma calcium level was also found to be positively correlated with gonadal maturation in females. However no such change in plasma calcium level in relation to testicular cycle was observed. Thus it can be concluded that UBG becomes hyperactive during gonadal maturation but its role differs between male and female fishes. In females it may involved in both gonadal maturation and plasma calcium regulation while in males its involvement in calcium regulation was not justified. Variations in the level of CT during various phases of testicular cycle evidenced its involvement in gonadal maturation only.