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Endogenous melanocortin antagonist in fish: Structure, brain mapping and regulation by fasting of the goldfish agouti-related protein gene

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Agouti-related protein (AGRP) is a naturally occurring antagonist of melanocortin. In mammals, central AGRP expression is restricted to the arcuate nucleus in which it plays a key role in the control of energy balance by antagonizing melanocortin effects at melanocortin 4 receptors. In goldfish, melanocortin 4 receptor is profusely expressed within the main brain areas for the control of energy balance, and central administration of agonist or antagonist analogs inhibits or stimulates food intake, respectively. Here we demonstrate that the goldfish genome has a homologous gene to mammalian AGRP. Detailed brain mapping by in situ hybridization shows that AGRP is exclusively expressed in the ventrobasal hypothalamic lateral tuberal nucleus, the teleostean homolog of the arcuate nucleus. Fasting up-regulates its mRNA levels in the lateral tuberal nucleus. In the periphery, AGRP is expressed in several tissues including ovary, muscle, and ventral skin, suggesting that AGRP might regulate peripheral actions of melanocortin peptides. The results provide the first evidence for an endogenous melanocortin antagonist in nontetrapod species and suggest that hypothalamic overexpression during fasting might regulate the inhibitory effects of melanocortin peptides on food intake in goldfish.

  • Date created
    2003
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3BN9X55R
  • License
    Copyright © 2003 by The Endocrine Society
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • JM Cerdá-Reverter and RE Peter. "Endogenous melanocortin antagonist in fish: Structure, brain mapping and regulation by fasting of the goldfish agouti-related protein gene." Endocrinology 144 (2003): 4552-4561.