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Zebrafish. 2018 Oct;15(5):473-483. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2018.1594. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

High Melatonin Conditions by Constant Darkness and High Temperature Differently Affect Melatonin Receptor mt1 and TREK Channel trek2a in the Brain of Zebrafish.

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Brain Research Institute, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia , Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia .


Ambient light and temperature affect reproductive function by regulating kisspeptin and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in vertebrates. Melatonin and melatonin receptors, as well as the two-pore domain K+ channel-related K+ (TREK) channels, are affected by light and/or temperature; therefore, these molecules could modulate kisspeptin and GnRH against ambient light and temperature. In this study, we investigated the effect of light and temperature, which affect melatonin levels in gene expression levels of TREK channels, kisspeptin, and GnRH. We first investigated the effects of different light and temperature conditions on brain melatonin concentrations by ELISA. Fish were exposed to either constant darkness, constant light, high temperature (35°C), or low temperature (20°C) for 72 h. Brain melatonin levels were significantly high under constant darkness and high temperature. We further investigated the effects of high brain melatonin levels by constant darkness and high temperature on gene expression levels of melatonin receptors (mt1, mt2, and mel1c), TREK channels (trek1b, trek2a, and trek2b), gnrh3, and kiss2 in the adult zebrafish brain by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Fish were exposed to constant darkness or elevated temperatures (35°C) for 72 h. trek2a, kiss2, and gnrh3 levels were increased under constant darkness. High temperature decreased gene expression levels of mt1, mt2, mel1c, and gnrh3 in the preoptic area, whereas other genes remained unchanged. Melatonin receptors, TREK channels, gnrh3, and kiss2 responded differently under high melatonin conditions. The melatonin receptors and the TREK channels could play roles in the regulation of reproduction by environmental cues, especially ambient light and temperature.


TREK channel; constant darkness; high temperature; melatonin; melatonin receptor; reproduction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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