Vol. 37 No. 2, 1998
Conversion of Cholesterol to Sex Steroid-like Substances by Tissues of Mictyris brevidactylus in Vitro
Jin-Taur Shih1,* and Ching-Fong Liao2
1Department of Biology, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan 117
2Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan 115
Jin-Taur Shih and Ching-Fong Liao (1998)
This study aimed to determine whether the ovary or hepatopancreas of
the soldier crab Mictyris brevidactylus can synthesize sex steroid-like
substances. Tritium-labeled cholesterol was used as a precursor for
steroid synthesis and was added to the culture medium in which tissues
were incubated in vitro. Steroid extracts prepared from ovaries,
hepatopancreases, and their incubation media were analyzed by HPLC. We
had the following results. 1) Ovary and hepatopancreas took up
tritium-labeled cholesterol at different rates and these rates leveled
off during incubation. 2) By HPLC analysis, we detected tritium-labeled
radioactivities in fractions which might represent newly synthesized
steroid-like substances (17-α-hydroxypregnenolone, progesterone, and
pregnenolone). 3) Little or no tritium-labeled steroid-like substance
was detected in tissues taken from crabs during prereproductive and
reproductive seasons (egg-carrying).
Key words: Crab, Ovary, Hepatopancreas, Sex steroids.
*Correspondence: Tel: 886-2-29333149 ext. 339. Fax: 886-2-29312904.