Characterization of gonadal soma-derived factor expression during sex change in the protogynous wrasse, Halichoeres trimaculatus

Ryo Horiguchi, Ryo Nozu, Toshiaki Hirai, Yasuhisa Kobayashi, Yoshitaka Nagahama, Masaru Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sex change in fishes provides a good experimental model for understanding the mechanisms and plasticity of sex determination and differentiation. The three-spot wrasse, Halichoeres trimaculatus is a protogynous hermaphrodite. During sex change from female to male, the ovary is replaced by the testis through the degeneration of oocytes and subsequent spermatogenesis. In the present study, we cloned a cDNA-encoding gonadal soma-derived factor (GSDF) from protogynous wrasse and examined its expression pattern in the sexually mature gonads and the sex-changing gonad induced experimentally by aromatase inhibition. Results: Expression of gsdf was predominantly observed in the testis, and it was mainly localized to the supporting cells surrounding the spermatogonia. In the ovary, only slight expression of gsdf was observed in morphologically undifferentiated supporting cells in contact with oogonia. During sex change, strong expression of gsdf appeared first in the supporting cells surrounding the gonial germ cells before the onset of spermatogenesis. Thereafter, the expression of gsdf continually increased in the supporting cells surrounding the proliferating spermatogonia throughout the sex change. Conclusions: These results suggest that gsdf is involved in the proliferation of spermatogonia and subsequent spermatogenesis in both the testis and the gonad in the early stages of sex change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-399
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Protogyny
  • Sex change
  • Sexual plasticity
  • Three-spot wrasse
  • gsdf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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