The role of Amh signaling in teleost fish--Multiple functions not restricted to the gonads

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2015 Nov 1;223:87-107. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.09.025. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


This review summarizes the important role of Anti-Müllerian hormone (Amh) during gonad development in fishes. This Tgfβ-domain bearing hormone was named after one of its known functions, the induction of the regression of Müllerian ducts in male mammalian embryos. Later in development it is involved in male and female gonad differentiation and extragonadal expression has been reported in mammals as well. Teleosts lack Müllerian ducts, but they have amh orthologous genes. amh expression is reported from 21 fish species and possible regulatory interactions with further factors like sex steroids and gonadotropic hormones are discussed. The gonadotropin Fsh inhibits amh expression in all fish species studied. Sex steroids show no consistent influence on amh expression. Amh is produced in male Sertoli cells and female granulosa cells and inhibits germ cell proliferation and differentiation as well as steroidogenesis in both sexes. Therefore, Amh might be a central player in gonad development and a target of gonadotropic Fsh. Furthermore, there is evidence that an Amh-type II receptor is involved in germ cell regulation. Amh and its corresponding type II receptor are also present in brain and pituitary, at least in some teleosts, indicating additional roles of Amh effects in the brain-pituitary-gonadal axis. Unraveling Amh signaling is important in stem cell research and for reproduction as well as for aquaculture and in environmental science.

Keywords: Amh; AmhrII; Brain–pituitary–gonadal axis (BPG-axis); Fish; Fsh; Spermatogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gonads / metabolism*
  • Granulosa Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Receptors, Peptide / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*
  • Sertoli Cells / metabolism*
  • Sex Differentiation
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, Peptide
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • anti-Mullerian hormone receptor
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone