Possible role of the leptin system in controlling puberty in the male chub mackerel, Scomber japonicus

Hirofumi Ohga, Daisuke Hirata, Kojiro Matsumori, Hajime Kitano, Naoki Nagano, Akihiko Yamaguchi, Michiya Matsuyama

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Leptin directly regulates kisspeptin neurons in the hypothalamus and gonadotropin secretion from the pituitary, making it a central player in the onset of mammalian puberty. Recently, we identified two leptin genes (lepa and lepb) and a single leptin receptor (lepr) in the marine perciform fish chub mackerel; however, the expression of these genes did not correlate with the expression of important reproductive genes or ovarian stage during female puberty. Here, we expand upon these initial observations by evaluating the expression of lepa, lepb, and lepr during pubertal transition and under differential feeding conditions in the male chub mackerel. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that lepa was primarily expressed in the liver of pubertal and gonadal recrudescence adults, as well as in the brain of adult fish; lepb was primarily expressed in the brain of all fish tested; and lepr was widely expressed in a variety of tissues. qRT-PCR analyses revealed significant increases in the hepatic expression of lepa in accordance with testicular stage, whereas pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone (fshβ) expression increased in unison with hepatic lepa. In contrast, expression of both brain lepa and lepb dramatically decreased during pubertal transition, with brain kisspeptin 1 (kiss1) expression strongly correlating with leptin expression patterns. In pre-pubertal males, lepa, lepb, and lper gene expression in the brain, pituitary gland, and liver decreased in fish given a high feed diet, relative to the controlled feeding group. Taken together, these results indicate high sexual specificity of leptin expression, suggesting a possible role for leptin signaling in endocrine and neuroendocrine functions during spermatogenesis in the pubertal male chub mackerel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology


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