ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-150209-1
Pineal-specific agouti protein regulates teleost background adaptation
Zhang, C., Song, Y., Thompson, D.A., Madonna, M.A., Millhauser, G.L., Toro, S., Varga, Z., Westerfield, M., Gamse, J., Chen, W., Cone, R.D.
Date: 2010
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America   107(47): 20164-71 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Chen, Wenbiao, Cone, Roger, Gamse, Josh, Toro, Sabrina, Varga, Zoltan M., Westerfield, Monte
Keywords: pigmentation, camouflage, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Adaptation, Physiological/genetics*
  • Agouti-Related Protein/metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation/physiology
  • Melanosomes/metabolism
  • Pigmentation/genetics*
  • Pigmentation/physiology
  • Pineal Gland/metabolism*
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 1/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/metabolism*
PubMed: 20980662 Full text @ Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA
Background adaptation is used by teleosts as one of a variety of camouflage mechanisms for avoidance of predation. Background adaptation is known to involve light sensing by the retina and subsequent regulation of melanophore dispersion or contraction in melanocytes, mediated by α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and melanin-concentrating hormone, respectively. Here, we demonstrate that an agouti gene unique to teleosts, agrp2, is specifically expressed in the pineal and is required for up-regulation of hypothalamic pmch and pmchl mRNA and melanosome contraction in dermal melanocytes in response to a white background. floating head, a mutant with defective pineal development, exhibits defective up-regulation of mch mRNAs by white background, whereas nrc, a blind mutant, exhibits a normal response. These studies identify a role for the pineal in background adaptation in teleosts, a unique physiological function for the agouti family of proteins, and define a neuroendocrine axis by which environmental background regulates pigmentation.