Zoological Studies

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.