Corticosteroid hormones control stress response in animals with backbones, including humans. While scientists have learned quite a bit about these so-called stress hormones in most modern animals, little was known about the hormones' earliest forms in prehistoric creatures such as lamprey.
"By identifying 11-deoxycortisol as a stress hormone in lamprey, it allows us to better understand how the endocrine system in vertebrates evolved into the complex systems we see in humans today," explained Weiming Li, professor of fisheries and wildlife who helped lead the project. Li also is a member of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.
The hormone is the only one the researchers have found so far in the lamprey and Li said the researchers are hypothesizing that it may be the only corticosteroid hormone in the lamprey. Humans, in contrast, have more than 30 corticosteroid hormones.
The research is published in the July 19 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Native to the Atlantic Ocean, sea lampreys are invasive species in the Great Lakes. They stay alive by attaching themselves to other fish, such as salmon and trout, and then suck out the fish's body fluids. One sea lamprey can kill 40 or more pounds of fish. The U.S. and Canadian governments spend about $10 million to $15 million per year on lamprey control.
Li led the groundbreaking research that identified the pheromone male lampreys use to attract females to their nests to mate. He has made a synthetic version of the pheromone and is testing its effectiveness as a control for the destructive parasites. While the identification of 11-deoxycortisol likely won't directly help his lamprey control work, Li said this new discovery will bolster understanding on how the fish has successfully adapted since the Paleozoic Era.
"Most jawless animals similar to the lamprey didn't survive into the modern era, so they're not available for us to use as we strive to learn more about how human systems developed," Li said. "The sea lamprey, a survivor, gives us a snapshot of what happened as vertebrates evolved into the animals we know today."
Li and his team plan to continue studying the lamprey, possibly investigating how the endocrine and other body systems became more integrated and successfully adapted to the changing environment.
Other paper authors are David Close, former doctoral student in Li's lab, now at the University of British Columbia; Sang-Seon Yun, former post-doctoral researcher now at Kunsan National University in Korea; Stephen McCormick, of U.S. Geological Survey Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center; and Andrews Wildbill, MSU undergraduate student.
The research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Li's research also is supported by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.
For more information on the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, visit: www.maes.msu.edu.
Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.
The Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, www.maes.msu.edu, is one of the largest research organizations at Michigan State University. Founded in 1888, the MAES funds the work of nearly 400 scientists in six colleges at MSU to enhance agriculture, natural resources and families and communities in Michigan.
For MSU news on the Web, go to news.msu.edu.
Jamie DePolo | EurekAlert!
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences