epg5 knockout leads to the impairment of reproductive success and courtship behaviour in a zebrafish model of autophagy-related diseases

Fontana, C.M., Locatello, L., Sabatelli, P., Facchinello, N., Lidron, E., Maradonna, F., Carnevali, O., Rasotto, M.B., Dalla Valle, L.
Biomedical journal   45(2): 377-386 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Carnevali, Oliana, Dalla Valle, Luisa, Facchinello, Nicola, Fontana, Camila Maria
Autophagy, Courtship behaviour, Reproduction, Zebrafish model, epg5 knockout
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Autophagy/genetics
  • Autophagy-Related Proteins
  • Courtship*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproduction/genetics
  • Spermatozoa
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Zebrafish*
  • Zebrafish Proteins
35562284 Full text @ Biomed J
Dysregulation of the autophagic flux is linked to a wide array of human diseases, and recent findings highlighted the central role of autophagy in reproduction, as well as an association between impairment of autophagy and behavioural disorders. Here we deepened on the possible multilevel link between impairment of the autophagic processes and reproduction at both the physiological and the behavioural level in a zebrafish mutant model.
Using a KO epg5 zebrafish line we analysed male breeding success, fertility rate, offspring survival, ejaculate quality, sperm and testes morphology, and courtship behaviour. To this aim physiological, histological, ultrastructural and behavioural analyses on epg5+/+ and mutant epg5-/- males coupled to WT females were applied.
We observed an impairment of male reproductive performance in mutant epg5-/- males that showed a lower breeding success with a reduced mean number of eggs spawned by their WT female partners. The spermatogenesis and the ability to produce fertilising ejaculates were not drastically impaired in our mutant males, whereas we observed a reduction of their courtship behaviour that might contribute to explain their lower overall reproductive success.
Collectively our findings corroborate the hypothesis of a multilevel link between the autophagic process and reproduction. Moreover, by giving a first glimpse on behavioural disorders associated to epg5 KO in model zebrafish, our results open the way to more extensive behavioural analyses, also beyond the reproductive events, that might serve as new tools for the molecular screening of autophagy-related multisystemic and neurodegenerative diseases.
Genes / Markers
Show all Figures
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes