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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2010 Aug 1;168(1):55-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.04.010. Epub 2010 Apr 18.

Leptin and leptin receptor genes in Atlantic salmon: Cloning, phylogeny, tissue distribution and expression correlated to long-term feeding status.

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Department of Biology, University of Bergen, N-5020 Bergen, Norway.


The present study reports the complete coding sequences for two paralogues for leptin (sLepA1 and sLepA2) and leptin receptor (sLepR) in Atlantic salmon. The deduced 171-amino acid (aa) sequence of sLepA1 and 175 aa sequence for sLepA2 shows 71.6% identity to each other and clusters phylogenetically with teleost Lep type A, with 22.4% and 24.1% identity to human Lep. Both sLep proteins are predicted to consist of four helixes showing strong conservation of tertiary structure with other vertebrates. The highest mRNA levels for sLepA1 in fed fish (satiation ration=100%) were observed in the brain, white muscle, liver, and ovaries. In most tissues sLepA2 generally had a lower expression than sLepA1 except for the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and mid-gut) and kidney. Only one leptin receptor ortholog was identified and it shares 24.2% aa sequence similarity with human LepR, with stretches of highest sequence similarity corresponding to domains considered important for LepR signaling. The sLepR was abundantly expressed in the ovary, and was also high in the brain, pituitary, eye, gill, skin, visceral adipose tissue, belly flap, red muscle, kidney, and testis. Fish reared on a rationed feeding regime (60% of satiation) for 10 months grew less than control (100%) and tended to have a lower sLepA1 mRNA expression in the fat-depositing tissues visceral adipose tissue (p<0.05) and white muscle (n.s.). sLepA2 mRNA levels was very low in these tissues and feeding regime tended to affect its expression in an opposite manner. Expression in liver differed from that of the other tissues with a higher sLepA2 mRNA in the feed-rationed group (p<0.01). Plasma levels of sLep did not differ between fish fed restricted and full feeding regimes. No difference in brain sLepR mRNA levels was observed between fish fed reduced and full feeding regimes. This study in part supports that sLepA1 is involved in signaling the energy status in fat-depositing tissues in line with the mammalian model, whereas sLepA2 may possibly play important roles in the digestive tract and liver. At present, data on Lep in teleosts are too scarce to allow generalization about how the Lep system is influenced by tissue-specific energy status and, in turn, may regulate functions related to feed intake, growth, and adiposity in fish. In tetraploid species like Atlantic salmon, different Lep paralogues seems to serve different physiological roles.

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