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Fish Physiol Biochem. 2019 Apr;45(2):805-817. doi: 10.1007/s10695-018-0586-x. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Characterization and expression of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) in common carp (Cyprinus carpio) during fasting and reproductive cycle.

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College of Pharmacy, South Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, 430074, China.
College of Pharmacy, South Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, 430074, China.
National Demonstration Center for Experimental Ethnopharmacology Education, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, 430074, People's Republic of China.


Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) was initially known as a regulator of teleost skin color and possesses multiple functions in mammals, such as the regulation of energy balance and reproduction. However, the role of MCH in fish remains unclear. In the present study, a 590 bp cDNA fragment of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) MCH gene was cloned. Amino acid sequence similarities with other teleost ranged from 23 to 93%. The mature MCH peptide (DTMRCMVGRVYRPCWEV) located in the C-terminal region of MCH precursor was 100% identical to that of goldfish, zebrafish, chum salmon, and rainbow trout. Tissue expression profiles showed that MCH mRNA was ubiquitously expressed throughout the brain and peripheral tissues and highly expressed in the brain and pituitary. Within the brain, MCH mRNA was expressed preponderantly in the hypothalamus. MCH mRNA expression in the hypothalamus was increased after feeding, decreased after 3, 5, or 7 days fasting, and increased upon refeeding. These results suggested that MCH might have anorexigenic actions in common carp. Meanwhile, MCH gene expression varied based on reproductive cycle, which might be related to the long-term regulation of MCH in energy balance. In conclusion, our novel finding revealed that MCH was involved in the regulation of appetite and energy balance in common carp.


Cloning; Cyprinus carpio; Fasting; MCH; Reproduction; Tissue distribution

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