Endocrine regulation of growth in fishes. Interactions between growth and reproductive maturation. Iteroparity and semelparity in Oncorhynchus spp. Application of techniques from fish physiology and endocrinology to problems in the conservation and management of wild fish populations.
I am employed by the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), and stationed at the University of Idaho in the Department of Biological Sciences. My previous research focused on how growth is regulated in fishes, and how growth regulatory mechanisms interact with reproductive maturation, osmoregulation, and the stress response. I used primary hepatocyte culture to study the regulation of the insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II) in salmon tilapia. At present, I am working on a project to increase survival and repeat spawning in Columbia River kelt steelhead. Kelt steelhead are post-spawning anadromous rainbow trout. Every spring, tens of thousands of kelt steelhead migrate downriver toward the ocean from spawning areas. However, few survive and return to spawn again. We are applying tools from fish metabolic and reproductive endocrinology to understand physiological changes underlying survival and rematuration in kelt steelhead, with the goal of maximizing the success of programs to capture, recondition, and release wild fish
Caldwell LK, Pierce AL, Riley LG, Duncan CA & Nagler JJ. 2014. Plasma nesfatin-1 does not mediate the effect of nutritional status on rematuration in iteroparous female rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). PLoS One, 9:e85700.
Caldwell LK, Pierce AL & Nagler JJ. 2013. Metabolic endocrine factors involved in spawning recovery and rematuration of iteroparous female rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 194:124-132.
Hatch DR, Fast DE, Bosch WJ, Blodgett JW, Whiteaker JM, Branstetter R & Pierce AL. 2013. Survival and traits of reconditioned kelt steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss in the Yakima River, Washington. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 33:615-625.
Pierce AL, Breves JP, Moriyama S, Hirano T & Grau EG. 2012. Regulation of growth hormone (GH) receptor (GHR1 & GRH2) mRNA level by GH and metabolic hormones in primary cultured tilapia hepatocytes. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 179:22-29.
Pierce AL, Breves JP, Moriyama S, Hirano T & Grau EG. 2011. Differential regulation of igf1 and igf2 mRNA levels in tilapia hepatocytes: effects of insulin and cortisol on GH sensitivity. Journal of Endocrinology, 211:201-210.
Fox BK, Breves JP, et al. 2010. Tissue-specific regulation of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor axis during fasting and re-feeding: Importance of muscle expression of IGF-I and IGF-II mRNA in the tilapia. General and Comparative Endocrinology 166(3):573-580.
Breves JP, Fox BK, Pierce AL, Hirano T & Grau EG. 2010. Gene expression of growth hormone family and glucocorticoid receptors, osmosensors and ion transporters in the gill during seawater acclimation of Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 313A:432-441.
Pierce AL, Dickey JT, Felli L, Swanson P & Dickhoff WW. 2010. Metabolic hormones regulate basal and Gh-dependent Igf2 mRNA level in primary cultured coho salmon hepatocytes: effects of insulin, glucagon, dexamethasone, and triiodothyronine. Journal of Endocrinology, 204:1-10.
Fox BK, Breves JP, Davis LK, Pierce AL, Hirano T & Grau EG. 2009. Tissue specific regulation of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I axis during fasting and re-feeding: Importance of muscle expression of IFG-I and IGF-II mRNA in the tilapia. General and Comparative Endocrinology 166:573-580.
Uchida K, Moriyama S, Breves JP, Fox BK, Pierce AL, Hirano T & Grau EG. 2009. Isolation and cDNA cloning of somatolactin in Mozambique tilapia, and effects of seawater acclimation, confinement stress, and fasting on its pituitary expression. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 161:162-170.
Davis LK, Pierce AL, Hiramatsu N, Sullivan CV, Hirano T & Grau EG. 2008. Gender-specific expression of multiple estrogen receptors, growth hormone receptors, insulin-like growth factors and vitellogenins, and effects of 17β-estradiol in the male tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). General and Comparative Endocrinology 156:544-551.
Davis LK, Hiramatsu N, Hiramatsu K, Reading BJ, Matsubara T, Hara A, Sullivan CV, Pierce AL, Hirano T & Grau EG. 2007. Induction of three vitellogenins by 17beta-estradiol with concurrent inhibition of the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor 1 axis in a euryhaline teleost, the tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Biology of Reproduction 77:614-625.
Pierce AL, Fox BK, Davis LK, Visitacion N, Kitahashi T, Hirano T & Grau EG. 2007. Prolactin receptor, growth hormone receptor, and putative somatolactin receptor in Mozambique tilapia: Tissue specific expression and differential regulation by salinity and fasting. General and Comparative Endocrinology 154:31-40.