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Expression of genes for melanotropic peptides and their receptors for morphological color change in goldfish Carassius auratus

AuthorsMizusawa, Kanta; Yamamura, Y.; Kasagi, Satoshi; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel ; Takahashi, Akiyoshi
KeywordsBackground color adaptation
Morphological color change
Issue Date1-Aug-2018
CitationGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology 264: 138-150(2018)
AbstractTo evaluate the association of the melanotropic peptides and their receptors for morphological color change, we investigated the effects of changes in background color, between white and black, on xanthophore density in the scales and expression levels of genes for hormonal peptides and corresponding receptors (MCH-R2, MC1R, and MC5R) in goldfish (Carassius auratus). The xanthophore density in both dorsal and ventral scales increased after transfer from a white to black background. However, xanthophore density in dorsal scales increased after transfer from a black to white background, and that of ventral scales decreased after transfer from a black to black background, which served as the control. In the white-reared fish, melanin-concentrating hormone (mch) mRNA content in the brain was higher than that in black-reared fish, whereas proopiomelanocortin a (pomc-a) mRNA content in the pituitary was lower than that in the black-reared fish. Agouti-signaling protein (asp) mRNA was detected in the ventral skin but not in the dorsal skin. No difference was observed in the asp mRNA content between fish reared in white or black background, suggesting that ASP might not be associated with background color adaptation. In situ hybridization revealed that both mc1r and mc5r were expressed in the xanthophores in scales. The mRNA content of mc1r in scales did not always follow the background color change, whereas those of mc5r decreased in the white background and increased in the black background, suggesting that mc5r might be a major factor reinforcing the function of MSH in morphological color changes. White backgrounds increased mch mRNA content in the brain, but decreased mch-r2 mRNA content in the scales. These altered expression levels of melanotropin receptors might affect reactivity to melanotropins through long-term adaptation to background color.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.06.012
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