American eels produce and release bile acids that vary across life stage

Journal of Fish Biology
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The American eel (Anguilla rostrata ) is an imperilled fish hypothesized to use conspecific cues, in part, to coordinate long‐distance migration during their multistage life history. Here, holding water and tissue from multiple American eel life stages was collected and analysed for the presence, profile and concentration of bile acids. Distinct bile acid profiles were identified in glass, elver, yellow eel and silver eel holding waters using ultraperformance liquid chromatography high‐resolution mass spectrometry and principal component analysis. Taurochenodeoxycholic acid, taurodeoxycholic acid, cholic acid, deoxycholic acid, taurolithocholic acid and taurocholic acid were detected in whole tissue of American glass eels and elvers, and in liver, intestine and gallbladder samples of late‐stage yellow eels. Bile acids were not a major component of silver eel washings or tissue. This study is novel because little was previously known about bile acids produced and emitted into the environment by American eels. Future behavioural studies could evaluate whether any bile acids produced by American eels influence conspecific migratory behaviour.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title American eels produce and release bile acids that vary across life stage
Series title Journal of Fish Biology
DOI 10.1111/jfb.14295
Volume 96
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center, Leetown Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 1024
Last page 1033
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