Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) is a species with a high commercial value that exhibits a reproductive dysfunction in males born and raised in captivity (F1) that hinders their sustainable culture. The present study evaluates the sperm quality and dopaminergic pathway of males born in the wild environment and of F1 males. Traditional sperm analyses were performed, finding only significant differences in curvilinear velocity (VCL) and no significant differences in viability and total motility. No differences in global sperm methylation were observed either in spermatozoa or brain between the two groups (F1 and wild-born males). However, our results point to a different sperm molecular signature between wild fish and fish born in captivity, specifically the differential expression in miR-let7-d and miR-200a-5p between these two groups. miR-let7-d has been correlated with spermatogenesis and sex preferences, whereas the miR-200 family is implied in target innervation of dopaminergic neurons in zebrafish. When we analysed the dopaminergic pathway, no differences were found in terms of different mRNA expression of dopaminergic markers. However, some differences were detected in terms of tyrosine hydroxylase protein expression by western blot analysis, thus suggesting an altered post-transcriptional regulation in F1 males. The results of this study suggest that an altered sperm miRNA signature in F1 males could be one possible mode of transmission of reproductive dysfunction to the progeny.
Marta F Riesco, David G Valcarce, Juan Manuel Martínez-Vázquez
Reproduction, fertility, and development