Comparing Sex Steroid Levels During the Annual Cycles of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Diploid Female (XX) and Triploid Female (XXX) Genotypic Sex


Author’s address (for correspondence): E Espinosa, Departamento de Patología Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Miguel Servet 177, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain. E-mail:


In this study, the annual cycle of the gonadal steroids testosterone (T), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α, 20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (DHP) was determined using radioimmunoassay and then compared for two populations of rainbow trout, XX diploid females (n = 40) and XXX triploid females (n = 15). In females, E2 and DHP levels were found to be significantly related to body weight (r = 0.22513; p < 0.0001 and r = 0.15831; p >  0.001, respectively). In this group, E2 concentrations peaked in November (25.05 ng /ml), while maximum DHP levels, only measurable from October to April, were attained in February (64.14 ng /ml). No significant differences in hormone ranges related to egg output ability were observed. Finally, sex steroid concentrations were low in the triploid female XXX fish compared to the female XX population. Nevertheless, maximum T (33.85 ng /ml) and 11-KT (32.35 ng /ml) levels were recorded in January, for XXX. The levels for these two hormones are relatively high and are also significantly associated (r = 0.8430; p < 0.0001). Diploid females showed significantly higher levels of E2 than triploids over the 12-month study period. The female triploid fish produced the lowest steroid hormone levels, such that these would be the most suitable for human consumption.