Patterns of gene expression during teleost embryogenesis: Lactate dehydrogenase isozyme ontogeny in the medaka (Oryzias iatipes)

David P. Philipp, Gregory S. Whitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ontogeny of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH; EC isozymes during medaka (Oryzias latipes) embryogenesis was determined after the genetic and molecular bases of this multilocus isozyme system were established. Three LDH loci are differentially expressed among the tissues of the adult medaka. The LDH-A locus was expressed almost exclusively in the white skeletal muscle, the LDH-B locus in all tissues examined, and the LDH-C locus in the eye and brain. The contribution of each of these LDH loci was quantitatively determined throughout early medaka embryogenesis by using a combination of electrophoretic, immunochemical, and spectrophotometric procedures. LDH-B4 is present throughout embryogenesis and is the predominant LDH isozyme during this period. LDH-C subunit activity was first detected 146 hr after fertilization (26°C), 142 hr prior to hatching. LDH-A subunit activity, however, was not detected until after hatching and, then, only as heterotetramers containing LDH-B subunits. The pattern of LDH gene expression during medaka embryogenesis was compared with the patterns of LDH gene expression during early development in five other teleost species. Some common patterns of differential LDH gene expression appear to exist among the teleosts. In all species examined, isozymes encoded in at least one LDH locus, A and/or B, were present throughout development. Those isozymes present continually during embryogenesis also tend to be active in a wide variety of differentiated tissues in the adult fish. Conversely, LDH isozymes which are active in a restricted number of adult tissues are detected only later in embryogenesis. The initiation of LDH-C gene expression, however, is closely coupled with morphological and functional differentiation of those cells in which this locus is predominantly expressed in the adult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-197
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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