Thyroxine content of eggs and larvae of coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch

Document Type


Date of Original Version



The whole‐animal content of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) was measured in embryonic and larval coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) by radioimmunoassay following the validation of an extraction method. The embryonic yolk, at 20 days after fertilization and 10 days before hatching, was found to have 5.3 ± 0.3 ng T4 (mean ± SEM). At hatching, the total T4 content decreased to 4.4 ± 0.3 ng, of which 96% remained in the yolk and 4% was distributed in the larva. T4 content decreased to 1.5 ± 0.1 ng during the 30 days of larval development. The first increases in T4 were detected within 2 weeks following emergence from the substrate of the actively feeding juvenile; the newly emerged salmon responds significantly to bovine TSH. The presence and clearance of T4 from the yolk suggest that T4 may be critical to normal larval morphogenesis, that initially the T4 is of maternal origin, and that the hypothalamo‐adenohypophysial‐thyroid axis begins to function independently at or near the time of emergence. Copyright © 1987 Wiley‐Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Experimental Zoology