Melatonin-induced changes in kiss/gnrh gene expression patterns in the brain of male sea bass during spermatogenesis.

Research paper by María Victoria MV Alvarado, Manuel M Carrillo, Alicia A Felip

Indexed on: 27 Mar '15Published on: 27 Mar '15Published in: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology


Evidence exists that melatonin may drive the seasonal changes in kisspeptin-expressing cells and GnRH/gonadotropin secretion in mammals, thus modulating their reproductive activity. This study established the influence of long-term melatonin administration (as an implant) on growth performance and reproduction of adult male sea bass. Melatonin reduced the fish weight and condition factor, thus affecting the performance of fish. Melatonin also affected gonadogenesis, as shown by a decrease in the gonadosomatic index after 150 days of treatment and the lower percentage of running males during the spermatogenesis and full spermiation stages of this species. Exogenous melatonin also resulted in lower plasma androgen levels during the reproductive period, and showed a significant decrease in serum Lh and Fsh concentration after 30 and 60 days of treatment, respectively. Thus, melatonin elicited seasonal changes in key reproductive hormones that affected testicular maturity. The hypothalamic expression of kiss1 was significantly higher in melatonin-treated fish than in controls after 30 days of treatment, while a significant increase in kiss2 expression was detected on day 90 of treatment. By contrast, melatonin showed a significant decrease in kisspeptin expression in the dorsal brain on day 150 of treatment and also affected the expression of gnrh-1 and gnrh-3 and gnrhr-II-1a and 2b and the fshβ gene in the pituitary. These results suggest that in this species, melatonin evokes changes in the mRNA levels of kisspeptin and gnrh system genes that appear to mirror disturbances in spermatogenesis.