Hydrogen peroxide induces spawning in mollusks, with activation of prostaglandin endoperoxide synthetase

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Science  15 Apr 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4287, pp. 298-300
DOI: 10.1126/science.403609


Addition of hydrogen peroxide to seawater causes synchronous spawning in gravid male and female abalones, and certain other mollusks as well. This effect is blocked by exposure of the animals to aspirin, an inhibitor of the enzyme catalyzing oxidative synthesis of prostaglandin endoperoxide. Hydrogen peroxide activates this enzymatic reaction in cell-free extracts prepared from abalone eggs (a very rich source of the prostaglandin endoperoxide synthetase); this effect appears to reveal a fundamental property of prostaglandin endoperoxide synthesis. Applicability of these findings to both mariculture and medical purposes is suggested.