Interactive effects of dietary composition and hormonal treatment on reproductive development of cultured female European eel, Anguilla anguilla

Filipa da Silva, Josianne Gatt Støttrup, Elin Kjørsvik, Helge Tveiten, Jonna Tomkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Farmed female eels were fed two experimental diets with similar proximate composition but different n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels. Both diets had similar levels of arachidonic acid (ARA), while levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in one diet were approximately 4.5 and 2.6 times higher compared to the other diet, respectively. After the feeding period, each diet group was divided into two and each half received one of two hormonal treatments using salmon pituitary extract (SPE) for 13 weeks: i) a constant hormone dose of 18.75mg SPE/kg initial body weight (BW) and ii) a variable hormone dosage that increased from 12.5mg SPE/kg initial BW to 25mg SPE/kg initial BW. Results showed a significant interaction between diets and hormonal treatments on gonadosomatic index (GSI), indicating that the effect of broodstock diets on ovarian development depends on both nutritional status and hormonal regime. Females fed with higher levels of n-3 series PUFAs and stimulated with the constant hormonal treatment reached higher GSIs than those receiving the variable hormonal treatment. However, when females were fed lower levels of n-3 series PUFAs there was no difference in the effect of hormonal treatments on GSI. We also found that, independent of hormonal treatment, the diet with higher levels of n-3 series PUFAs led to the most advanced stages of oocyte development, such as germinal vesicle migration. Concentration of sex steroids (E2, T, and 11-KT) in the plasma did not differ between diets and hormonal treatments, but was significantly correlated with ovarian developmental stage. In conclusion, increasing dietary levels of n-3 PUFAs seemed to promote oocyte growth, leading to a more rapid progression of ovarian development in European eel subjected to hormonal treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Pages (from-to)17-26
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Assisted reproduction
  • Dietary fatty acids
  • Ovarian development
  • Sex steroids


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