Zhu, Y., Song, D., Tran, N.T., and Nguyen, N. (2007) The effects of the members of growth hormone family knockdown in zebrafish development. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol.. 150(3):395-404.
Growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), and somatolactin (SL) are members of GH/PRL superfamily. These hormones are involved in the regulation of an array of physiological processes, including growth, lactation, and osmoregulation. While recent evidence has shown the GH, PRL, and SL gene transcripts and protein products are expressed during early zebrafish development, their functions at this time of embryogenesis remain unknown. In the current study, antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) inhibition of gh, prl, and sl gene translation was used to examine the effects of gene knockdown on hormone function in zebrafish development. We observed that PRL, SLalpha and SLbeta MO treatment all affected development. PRL MO-treated embryos showed defects in gas bladder inflation, reduced head and eye size, shorter body length and fewer melanophores than untreated controls, whereas SLalpha and SLbeta MO-treated embryos were only defective in gas bladder inflation, GH MO-inhibition of GH specific translation did not lead to any discernable morphological changes within 10 days post fertilization (dpf). The effects of PRL knockdown were further verified using a second PRL morpholino antisense and by a rescue experiment with in vitro transcribed prl mRNA containing 5 nucleotide mismatch within the PRL-MO binding region. These results provide the first evidence that members of the GH/PRL superfamily play a role in proper development of various structures including the head, eyes, melanophores and the gas bladder in zebrafish.