Influence of moonlight on mRNA expression patterns of melatonin receptor subtypes in the pineal organ of a tropical fish

Yong Ju Park, Ji Gweon Park, Yuki Takeuchi, Sung Pyo Hur, Young Don Lee, Se Jae Kim, Akihiro Takemura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


The goldlined spinefoot, Siganus guttatus, is a lunar-synchronized spawner, which repeatedly releases gametes around the first quarter moon during the reproductive season. A previous study reported that manipulating moonlight brightness at night disrupted synchronized spawning, suggesting involvement of this natural light source in lunar synchronization. The present study examined whether the mRNA expression pattern of melatonin receptor subtypes MT1 and Mel1c in the pineal organ of the goldlined spinefoot is related to moonlight. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the abundance of MT1 and Mel1c mRNA at midnight increased during the new moon phase and decreased during the full moon phase. Exposing fish to moonlight intensity during the full moon period resulted in a decrease in Mel1c mRNA abundance within 1h. Fluctuations in the melatonin receptor genes according to changes in the moon phase agreed with those of melatonin levels in the blood. These results indicate that periodic changes in cues from the moon influence melatonin receptor mRNA expression levels. The melatonin-melatonin receptor system may play a role in predicting the moon phase through changes in night brightness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalMarine Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Goldlined spinefoot
  • Lunar cycle
  • Melatonin
  • Moonlight
  • Rabbitfish
  • Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Genetics
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this