The biosynthesis of melanin-concentrating hormone in trout kept under different conditions of background colour and stress, as determined by an in vitro method
Baker, B. I. and Bird, D. J. (1992) The biosynthesis of melanin-concentrating hormone in trout kept under different conditions of background colour and stress, as determined by an in vitro method. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 4 (6). pp. 673-679. ISSN 0953-8194
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2826.1992.tb00218...
The aim of this study was to develop a method to monitor the synthetic activity of neurons which secrete the neurohypophysial melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), a hormone implicated in two separate physiological roles in fish—pigmentary regulation and the response to stress. Trout hypothalamic fragments, containing the MCH neuronal cell bodies, were incubated in vitro in a medium including [35S]methionine. Labelled MCH-related products were separated by immunoprecipitation. Gel electrophoresis showed that radioactive methionine was incorporated into MCH precursors and into mature MCH, much as in vivo. Thus, de novo hormone synthesis continues in vitro. Trout reared at a fish-farm and adapted to black or white tanks for 39 days displayed nearly a 2-fold difference in their rate of methionine incorporation. Transferring fish from a black to a white background also doubled the rate of incorporation within 7 days and this rate increased only very slightly during the following 3 weeks. The rate of methionine incorporation by tissue from trout reared in black tanks was very depressed, and 4-fold lower than that of fish reared in white tanks, suggesting that very long-term adaptation to one or other background has increasingly marked effects on the activity and perhaps the number of synthetically active neurons. Stress also influenced the rate of methionine incorporation: a mild daily stress was stimulatory but more frequent stress had an inhibitory effect in many cases. The effects of daily dexamethasone administration were inconclusive. It is suggested that these differences in methionine incorporation reflect the relative rates of MCH synthesis in vivo, and that the method is useful to investigate conditions which modulate the biosynthesis of MCH in the trout.