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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2010 Jan 1;165(1):136-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2009.06.010. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

Leptin and ghrelin in anadromous Arctic charr: cloning and change in expressions during a seasonal feeding cycle.

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  • 1Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway.

Erratum in

  • Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2011 Sep 15;173(3):491-3.


Anadromous (sea-migrating) Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) display pronounced seasonal variations in food intake and growth and is an interesting model for studying mechanisms of appetite regulation. In this study cDNAs encoding for ghrelin (GHRL) and leptin (LEP) in Arctic charr were cloned, after which stomach GHRL and liver LEP mRNA expressions were examined by qPCR during a seasonal feeding cycle of semi-wild anadromous Arctic charr. The fish were captured as they returned from summer feeding in seawater and transferred to an indoor tank where they were fed in excess until October the year after. Growth rate was low in late winter, increased in late spring and reached a peak during summer, and then declined during autumn, when the fish became sexually mature. The changes in growth rate were associated with corresponding changes in the proportion of fish that had been eating at each sampling date, and whole body lipid status. Stomach GHRL mRNA expression was high in late winter, decreased to a nadir in mid-summer and increased again to a high level in early autumn. Liver LEP mRNA remained low during winter, spring and early summer, after which there was a gradual, 7-fold increase until October. The seasonal changes in ghrelin and leptin support a role of these hormones in the long-term regulation of energy homeostasis in the anadromous Arctic charr. It cannot be excluded, however, that the increase in liver leptin expression during autumn is related to sexual maturation.

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