Development of specific chemiluminescent immunoassays for three subtypes of vitellogenin in grey mullet (Mugil cephalus).


Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8611, Japan; School of Marine Biosciences, Kitasato University, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0373, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Chemiluminescent immunoassays (CLIAs) were developed for each of three subtypes of vitellogenin (VtgAa, VtgAb and VtgC) in grey mullet, primarily for use in monitoring estrogenic pollution of the environment. The working range of VtgAa-CLIA and VtgAb-CLIA was from 0.975 to 1,000 ng/ml, while that of VtgC-CLIA was from 0.487 to 1,000 ng/ml. Each CLIA appeared to be specific to the targeted Vtg subtype. Intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation in the developed CLIAs were lower than 10%. In male serum, VtgAa, VtgAb and VtgC were detected in ranges from 0.01 to 0.38, 0.02 to 1.01, and 0.01 to 3.12 μg/ml, respectively, during various sampling periods. In vitellogenic females (October), serum VtgAb levels (1,192.05 ± 237.81 μg/ml) were significantly higher than levels of the other two Vtg subtypes (120.82 ± 30.42 and 119.23 ± 16.95 μg/ml for VtgAa and VtgC, respectively). When immature mullet were fed diets containing 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) at three different doses (0.4, 40 and 4,000 ng/g body weight), all Vtg subtypes were induced by 40 ng/g and 4,000 ng/g EE2. The VtgC (610.30 ± 150.18 μg/ml) was most highly expressed among the three Vtgs in fish fed 40 ng/g EE2, while VtgAb (33.25 ± 13.58 mg/ml) was highest in expression in fish fed 4,000 ng/g EE2. The present study provided practical subtype-specific Vtg assays for the first time in grey mullet, providing the necessary means to evaluate estrogenic activities in aquatic environments.