Functional development of the zebrafish pineal gland: Light-induced expression of period2 is required for onset of the circadian clock

L. Ziv, S. Levkovitz, R. Toyama, J. Falcon, Yoav Gothilf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In zebrafish, the pineal gland is a photoreceptive organ that contains an intrinsic circadian oscillator and exhibits rhythmic arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (zfaanat2) mRNA expression. In the present study, we investigated the role of light and of a clock gene, zperiod2 (zper2), in the development of this rhythm. Analysis of zfaanat2 mRNA expression in the pineal gland of 3-day-old zebrafish embryos after exposure to different photoperiodic regimes indicated that light is required for proper development of the circadian clock-controlled rhythmic expression of zfaanat2, and that a 1-h light pulse is sufficient to initiate this rhythm. Analysis of zper2 mRNA expression in zebrafish embryos exposed to different photoperiodic regimes indicated that zper2 expression is transiently up-regulated by light but is not regulated by the circadian oscillator. To establish the association between light-induced zper2 expression and light-induced clock-controlled zfaanat2 rhythm, zPer2 knock-down experiments were performed. The zfaanat2 mRNA rhythm, induced by a 1-h light pulse, was abolished in zPer2 knock-down embryos. These experiments indicated that light-induced zper2 expression is crucial for establishment of the clock-controlled zfaanat2 rhythm in the zebrafish pineal gland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2005

Keywords

  • Arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase
  • In situ hybridization
  • Melatonin
  • Photoreceptor

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