Short-Term In Vivo Melatonin Activates Thyroid Axis but Deactivates Interrenal Axis in Climbing Perch (Anabas testudineus Bloch)


  • University of Kerala, Department of Zoology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 695581, India
  • University of Kerala, Inter-University Centre for Evolutionary and Integrative Biology (iCEIB), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 695581, India


As a potent regulator of seasonal and circadian rhythms, melatonin is involved in many neuroendocrine functions in vertebrates including fishes. However, the interactive action of melatonin on thyroid and interrenal axes, metabolite homeostasis and ion status is less addressed in fishes. We thus analyze the plasma thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and cortisol levels and metabolite status and Na+ and K+ status in osmoregulatory tissues after short-term of 30 min in vivo exposure of melatonin (0, 0.25, 2.5, 25 ng g-1) in climbing perch (Anabas testudineus Bloch). A rise in plasma T4 occurred after 30 min of melatonin treatment, indicating activation of thyroid axis. On the contrary, deactivation of hypothalamo-pituitary-interenal (HPI) axis occurred due to fall in cortisol level along with decrease in plasma T3 in the melatonin-treated fish. Significant dose-dependent increase in plasma glucose and urea were found in melatonin-treated fish. Similarly, increased plasma [Na+] and [K+] contents occurred in gill tissues but plasma [Na+] and [K+] levels remained unaffected after melatonin treatment. In kidney, melatonin treatment augmented [K+] but decreased [Na+] content, emphasizing a differential cation handling by melatonin. Overall, these results indicate that melatonin exerts a rapid activation of thyroid axis, but deactivates interenal axis while promoting the release of glucose and urea and tissue Na+/K+ ion levels in freshwater climbing perch.


Cortisol, Fish, Interrenal Axis, Melatonin, Metabolites, Tissue Ions, Thyroid Axis, Thyroid Hormone

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