IRAGO Institute

Tahara, Japan

IRAGO Institute

Tahara, Japan
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Chow S.,Japan National Research Institute of Fisheries Science | Kurogi H.,Japan National Research Institute of Fisheries Science | Katayama S.,Japan National Research Institute of Fisheries Science | Ambe D.,Japan National Research Institute of Fisheries Science | And 18 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2010

During 2008 and 2009, a total of 12 adult Japanese eels Anguilla japonica were captured in the southern part of the West Mariana Ridge, the presumed spawning area. We compared the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) between the 'Mariana silvers' (terminal phase) and those of yellow and silver eels caught in rivers, lakes and coastal areas of Japan (initial phase). Profiles of stable isotope signatures between the initial and terminal phases were similar; both characteristically had a wide range for δ13C (-24.9 to -12.0% and -20.5 to -11.3% for the initial and terminal phases, respectively) and δ15N (6.5 to 18.4% and 9.0 to 18.1, respectively). Mesopelagic fishes, including several other anguillid species caught near the West Mariana Ridge, characteristically had a very narrow range of δ13C (-16.9 to -15.3%) and a wide but lower range of δ15N (5.3 to 11.1%) than the Japanese eels. The very similar profiles in stable isotopic signatures between the initial and terminal phase eels, distinct from those of Mariana mesopelagic fishes, indicate that Japanese eels do not assimilate nutrition from the marine environment during long (ca. 6 mo) spawning migration and retain the initial isotopic values of where they ceased feeding. © Inter-Research 2010, www.int-res.com.


Kuroki M.,University of Tokyo | Seo M.Y.,University of Tokyo | Okamura A.,IRAGO Institute | Watanabe S.,University of Tokyo | And 3 more authors.
Ichthyological Research | Year: 2016

Wild anguillid eel larvae inhabit the ocean during their early life stages and never experience low-salinity water until the glass eel stage. The larvae show less mortality in half-diluted seawater than in full-strength seawater in captivity; however, physiological influences of environmental salinity on eel larvae have not been clarified. In this study, we compared the distributional and functional features of ionocytes between Japanese eel larvae acclimated to half-diluted and full-strength seawater. The mean tissue fluid osmolality in larvae acclimated to half-diluted seawater (300 mOsm/kg H2O) was slightly lower than in those (344 mOsm/kg H2O) acclimated to full-strength seawater. The density and opening size of ionocytes in the skin were not significantly different between the two salinities. Na+/K+-ATPase-immunoreactive ionocytes showed Na+/H+ exchanger-3 (NHE3) and cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) immunoreactions in their apical region and Na+/K+/2Cl- cotransporter-1 (NKCC1) immunoreaction in their basolateral region, suggesting that the skin ionocytes are involved in salt secretion in both salinities. In transmission electron microscopic observation, the ionocytes of larvae in full-strength seawater were characterized by the electron-dense cytoplasm, expanded tubular system and well-developed mitochondria, compared with those in half-diluted seawater, suggesting that the salt-secreting function was more activated in full-strength seawater than in half-diluted seawater. These results suggest that the energy metabolism cost of ion regulation could be lower in the intermediate salinity environment, which is closer to their osmolality than full-strength seawater. Hence, it is hypothesized that the saving of energy required for osmoregulation in half-diluted seawater could be favorable to better survival and growth of artificial eel larvae. © 2016 The Ichthyological Society of Japan


Sudo R.,Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology | Okamura A.,IRAGO Institute | Kuroki M.,University of Tokyo | Tsukamoto K.,Nihon University
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology | Year: 2014

To clarify the role of thyroid function during metamorphosis from leptocephalus to glass eel in the Japanese eel, we examined the histology of the thyroid gland and measured whole-body concentrations of thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroid stimulating hormone β-subunit TSH (TSHβ) mRNA expression levels in five stages of artificially hatched eels (leptocephalus, early-metamorphosis, late-metamorphosis, glass eel, and elver). During metamorphosis, the inner colloid of thyroid follicles showed positive immunoreactivity for T4, and both T4 and T3 levels were significantly increased, whereas a small peak of TSHβ mRNA level was observed at the early-metamorphosis stage. Similarly, TSHβ mRNA levels were highest in the glass eel stage, and then decreased markedly in the elver stage. In contrast to TSHβ mRNA expression, thyroid hormones (both T4 and T3) increased further from the glass eel to elver stages. These results indicated that thyroid function in the Japanese eel was active both during and after metamorphosis. Therefore, the thyrotropic axis may play important roles not only in metamorphosis but also in subsequent inshore or upstream migrations. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Sudo R.,University of Tokyo | Suetake H.,University of Tokyo | Suetake H.,Fukui Prefectural University | Suzuki Y.,University of Tokyo | And 4 more authors.
Zoological Science | Year: 2011

The profiles of sex steroids (estradiol-17β, testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone) and the mRNA levels of gonadotropins (luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone) were investigated before and after downstream migration in females of the Japanese eel species Anguilla japonica, which were collected in the brackish Hamana Lake and its inlet freshwater rivers. Eels were separated into three groups using otolith microchemistry: 'migrants' that grew in the inlet rivers and then made a downstream migration to Hamana Lake mainly in October and November; 'non-migrant' yellow eels caught in rivers during the same season; and 'residents,' which were yellow eels caught in rivers in August. Sex steroid levels, especially those of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone, were higher in migrants than in non-migrants and residents. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis indicated that mRNA levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) β-subunits were significantly higher in migrants than in other groups, whereas those of follicle-stimulating hormone β-subunits did not show significant changes during downstream migration. The high levels of these hormones during downstream migration raise the question about if they also play a role in motivating the migratory behavior of eels. © 2011 Zoological Society of Japan.


Okamura A.,IRAGO Institute | Yamada Y.,IRAGO Institute | Horie N.,IRAGO Institute | Mikawa N.,IRAGO Institute | And 4 more authors.
Aquaculture Research | Year: 2013

Usual diets for rearing leptocephalus larvae of Japanese eel Anguilla japonica include eggs of the endangered spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias (SE). We investigated the effects of alternative food materials, hen egg yolk (HEY) and exoskeleton-free (skinned) Antarctic krill (SAK), on the growth and survival of eel larvae. We found that feed comprising whole krill including exoskeleton (WAK) containing higher levels of fluoride (37.89 mg kg-1) was acutely toxic to eel larvae exposed to this alone. In contrast, extract from SAK containing lower concentrations of fluoride (4.25 mg kg-1) showed no apparent adverse effects. Growth of larvae fed a mixture of SE and SAK in a feed trial of 58 days [mean body weight (BW), 6.0 mg] was about twofold higher than that of larvae fed a mixture of SE and WAK (3.2 mg) (P < 0.01). A mixture of HEY and SAK also had some dietary benefits for eel larvae, enabling them to survive for up to 58 days and to grow significantly (mean BW, 2.4 mg), compared with their initial weight (mean BW, 0.2 mg) (P < 0.001). Although additional nutritional improvements are needed, the present results suggest that combination diet HEY and SAK may be a good alternative to SE as an effective diet for eel larvae. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Lee K.M.,University of Tokyo | Yamada Y.,IRAGO Institute | Okamura A.,IRAGO Institute | Tsukamoto K.,IRAGO Institute | And 2 more authors.
Fisheries Science | Year: 2013

We explored osmoregulatory ability and mechanisms of ion and water regulation in Japanese eel leptocephali. Tissue osmolality of leptocephali ranged from 360 to 540 mOsm/kg·H2O. Immunocytochemical observations revealed that Na+/K+-ATPase-immunoreactive mitochondrion-rich (MR) cells were distributed over the entire body surface of leptocephali. Using a fluorescent sodium indicator and the chloride test, we localized Na+ and Cl- secreting sites at the apical region of cutaneous MR cells. To further examine drinking behavior and water absorption in the intestine, leptocephali were exposed to seawater containing dextran labeled with Alexa Fluor. To calculate relative water absorption, fluorescent intensity was measured along the digestive tract. Whereas water was hardly absorbed in the stomach and intestine, water absorption predominantly took place in the rectum. Our findings indicate that Japanese eel exert hyposmoregulatory ability as early as during leptocephalus stages, secreting Na+ and Cl- through cutaneous MR cells and primarily absorbing water from ingested seawater in the rectum. © 2012 The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science.


Sudo R.,University of Tokyo | Tosaka R.,National Research Institute of Aquaculture | Ijiri S.,Hokkaido University | Adachi S.,Hokkaido University | And 6 more authors.
Fisheries Science | Year: 2011

To improve understanding of the mechanism of early ovarian development in eels, the effects of water temperature decrease on oocyte development, plasma levels of sex steroids [estradiol 17β (E2), testosterone (T), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT)], and gonadotropin β-subunit [follicle-stimulating hormone (FSHβ), luteinizing hormone (LHβ)] messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels were investigated. A total of 27 female Japanese eels Anguilla japonica were divided into initial, control, and test (water temperature decrease) groups. Starting on 22 September 2009, eels in the test group were reared in a tank with gradual temperature decrease from 25°C to 15°C over 39 days, while the control group was maintained at 25°C. The test group accumulated more oil droplets in their oocytes than did the other groups. Levels of sex steroids, especially 11-KT, were higher in the test group. In contrast, FSHβ and LHβ mRNA expression levels were lower in the test group. These results suggest that water temperature decrease only induced an early stage of ovarian development that was partly affected by an 11-KT increase. For further maturation, other environmental factors related to induction of gonadotropin increase appear to be needed. © 2011 The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science.


Seo M.Y.,University of Tokyo | Kuroki M.,University of Tokyo | Okamura A.,IRAGO Institute | Tsukamoto K.,IRAGO Institute | And 3 more authors.
Ichthyological Research | Year: 2015

The anguillid eels are catadromous fishes that migrate between marine and freshwater habitats. The long migration of eel larvae, called leptocephali, as long as thousands of kilometers in the ocean is important to determine their recruitment successes. The leptocephali in the ocean have a pelagic lifestyle totally different from the benthic one of glass eels and yellow eels in rivers. It is known that eel leptocephali have ionocytes on the body surface that may maintain ionic and osmotic status in the internal environment; however, detailed morphology and function of ionocytes in leptocephali are still unknown. In the present study, we aimed 1) to clarify the morphological features of the epidermis in Japanese eel Anguilla japonica leptocephali cultured in hyper-osmotic condition, and 2) to examine the ion-transporting functions of ionocytes of both leptocephali and yellow eels. Na+/K+-ATPase-immunoreactive ionocytes were distributed all over the body surface of leptocephali. Ionocytes were in contact with external environments through their apical membrane, which was located at the boundary of pavement cells. Na+/K+-ATPase-immunopositive cells were not observed in the skin of seawater-acclimated yellow eels. In ionocytes of the larval skin, the apical membrane appeared as a slightly projecting disk with a microvilli-like structure. Meanwhile, the apical membrane of gill ionocytes of yellow eels formed a concave surface. In ionocytes of leptocephali, mitochondria were enlarged and the tubular system was well developed, as compared with those of the gill of yellow eels. Ionocytes of leptocephali showed CFTR immunoreaction in their apical region and NKCC1 immunoreaction in their basolateral region, suggesting that the skin ionocytes are involved in salt secretion. These results support the notion that Japanese eel maintain their ion balance through skin ionocytes during early life stages, and that the skin ionocytes of leptocephali disappear in yellow eel stages after the formation of functional gills and gill ionocytes. © 2015, The Ichthyological Society of Japan.


Sudo R.,Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology | Yamada Y.,IRAGO Institute | Manabe R.,University of Tokyo | Tsukamoto K.,Nihon University
Journal of Ethology | Year: 2014

Lunar periodicity has been thought to influence the onset of the spawning migration of anguillid eels. In this study, we measured daily locomotor activity of 8 silver-phase Japanese eels Anguilla japonica in outdoor tanks to examine the effect of lunar periodicity on their activity and the following seaward migration. The activity of silver eels was highest around the new moon during the early part of the experiment, which is the ordinary season of seaward migration in Japan. The observed patterns of activity may reflect the importance of the lunar cycle for the onset of the spawning migration in anguillid eels. © 2014 Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan.


The embryonic development of the Japanese eel Anguilla japonica and pike eel Muraenesox cinereus was morphologically investigated with laboratory-reared specimens to clarify the characteristics of somitogenesis. In A. japonica, somites were first observed at 18h post fertilization (hpf) when epiboly reached 90%. Somitogenesis progressed at a rate of 16h

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