Thyrotropin in teleost fish. Academic Article uri icon


  • Thyrotropin (TSH), a pituitary glycoprotein hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland, has been cloned and sequenced from over a dozen teleost fish species. Although TSH is established as a primary driver of systemic thyroid status in mammals, its importance in the regulation of fish thyroid function is still uncertain. We review recent studies indicating that TSH structure is highly conserved across species representing six teleost families. These studies have found TSH messenger RNA consistently expressed in teleost pituitary tissue, although ectopic expression, particularly in gonads, has also been observed. They have also provided evidence for negative feedback inhibition of TSH expression by thyroid hormones, as well as stimulation by hypothalamic peptides. Descriptive studies have found increased TSHbeta expression associated with life history events thought to be promoted by thyroid hormones. These results, coupled with the discovery of a G-protein coupled TSH receptor in several teleost species, supports an active and conserved role for TSH in the regulation of teleost thyroid function. The relative importance of central pathways in regulating thyroid hormone provision to targets and the identity of a proposed thyrotropin-inhibiting factor in teleost fish are still unanswered questions whose resolution will be facilitated by development of methods to measure circulating TSH and its secretion from the pituitary gland.

published proceedings

  • Gen Comp Endocrinol

author list (cited authors)

  • MacKenzie, D. S., Jones, R. A., & Miller, T. C.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • MacKenzie, Duncan S||Jones, Richard A||Miller, Thomas C

publication date

  • March 2009