Seasonal simulated photoperiods influence melatonin release and immune markers of pike perch Sander lucioperca

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Abstract

Melatonin is considered as the time-keeping hormone acting on important physiological functions of teleosts. While the influence of melatonin on reproduction and development is well described, its potential role on immune functions has little been considered. In order to better define an immune modulation by the melatonin hormone, we hypothesized that natural variations of photoperiod and subsequent changes in melatonin release profile may act on immune status of pikeperch. Therefore, we investigated during 70 days the effects of two photoperiod regimes simulating the fall and spring in western Europe, on pikeperch physiological and immune responses. Samples were collected at 04:00 and 15:00 at days 1, 37 and 70. Growth, plasma melatonin levels, innate immune markers and expression of immune-relevant genes in head kidney tissue were assessed. While growth and stress level were not affected by the seasonal simulated photoperiods, nocturnal levels of plasma melatonin were photoperiod-dependent. Innate immune markers, including lysozyme, complement, peroxidase and phagocytic activities, were stimulated by the fall-simulated photoperiod and a significant correlation was made with plasma melatonin. In addition to bring the first evidence of changes in fish immunocompetence related to photoperiod, our results provide an additional indication supporting the immunomodulatory action of melatonin in teleosts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2650
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020

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