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Ultrasonographic predictors of response of European eels (Anguilla anguilla) to hormonal treatment for induction of ovarian development

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg, Denmark.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg, Denmark.
  • | 3 National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark.
  • | 4 National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark.
  • | 5 Department of Food Science, Spectroscopy and Chemometrics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, l958 Frederiksberg, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To examine ultrasonographic predictors of ovarian development in European eels (Anguilla anguilla) undergoing hormonal treatment for assisted reproduction.

ANIMALS 83 female European eels.

PROCEDURES Eels received weekly IM injections of salmon pituitary extract (first injection = week 1). Ultrasonography of the ovaries was performed twice during hormonal treatment (weeks 7 and 11). Eels were identified on the basis of body weight as having an adequate response by weeks 14 to 20 or an inadequate response after injections for 21 weeks. Eels were euthanized at the end of the experiment and classified by use of ovarian histologic examination. Ovarian cross-sectional area and size of eel (ie, length) were used to classify eels (fast responder, slow responder, or nonresponder) and to calculate an ultrasonographic-derived gonadosomatic index. Gray-level co-occurrence matrices were calculated from ovarian images, and 22 texture features were calculated from these matrices.

RESULTS The ultrasonographic-derived gonadosomatic index differed significantly between fast responders and slow responders or nonresponders at both weeks 7 and 11. Principal component analysis revealed a pattern of separation between the groups, and partial least squares discriminant analysis revealed signals in the ovarian texture that discriminated females that responded to treatment from those that did not.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Ovarian texture information in addition to morphometric variables can enhance ultrasonographic applications for assisted reproduction of eels and potentially other fish species. This was a novel, nonlethal method for classifying reproductive response of eels and the first objective texture analysis performed on ultrasonographic images of the gonads of fish.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To examine ultrasonographic predictors of ovarian development in European eels (Anguilla anguilla) undergoing hormonal treatment for assisted reproduction.

ANIMALS 83 female European eels.

PROCEDURES Eels received weekly IM injections of salmon pituitary extract (first injection = week 1). Ultrasonography of the ovaries was performed twice during hormonal treatment (weeks 7 and 11). Eels were identified on the basis of body weight as having an adequate response by weeks 14 to 20 or an inadequate response after injections for 21 weeks. Eels were euthanized at the end of the experiment and classified by use of ovarian histologic examination. Ovarian cross-sectional area and size of eel (ie, length) were used to classify eels (fast responder, slow responder, or nonresponder) and to calculate an ultrasonographic-derived gonadosomatic index. Gray-level co-occurrence matrices were calculated from ovarian images, and 22 texture features were calculated from these matrices.

RESULTS The ultrasonographic-derived gonadosomatic index differed significantly between fast responders and slow responders or nonresponders at both weeks 7 and 11. Principal component analysis revealed a pattern of separation between the groups, and partial least squares discriminant analysis revealed signals in the ovarian texture that discriminated females that responded to treatment from those that did not.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Ovarian texture information in addition to morphometric variables can enhance ultrasonographic applications for assisted reproduction of eels and potentially other fish species. This was a novel, nonlethal method for classifying reproductive response of eels and the first objective texture analysis performed on ultrasonographic images of the gonads of fish.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Müller (avm@sund.ku.dk).