Melatonin receptors are present in non-optic regions of the brain of a deep-sea fish living in the absence of solar light

A. Smith*, V. L. Trudeau, L. M. Williams, M. G. Martinoli, I. G. Priede

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Pineal melatonin hormonally transduces photoperiod to influence daily and seasonal cycles in most vertebrates. Evidence of melatonin receptors throughout the brain of several fish species, particularly in retinorecipient structures, also indicates a role in visual processing. Despite the absence of solar light many deep-sea organisms show seasonality. The presence of central melatonin receptors was investigated by quantitative in vitro autoradiography in the deep-sea fish Coryphaenoides (Nematonurs) armatus. Specific, time-dependent, saturable, high affinity and guanine nucleotide sensitive, 2-[125]iodomelatonin binding was found over the mid-brain tegmentum and hindbrain. Competing ligand potency was iodomelatonin > melatonin >> 5-HT. Although C.(N.) armatus has well developed eyes no 2-[125]iodomelatonin binding occurred on optic tectum, cerebellum or hypothalamus. Thus melatonin involvement in processing of visual information and control of seasonal physiology via hypothalamic areas appears to be absent in this species. The presence of central G-protein coupled receptors indicates a function for melatonin unrelated to solar light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-658
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 1996


  • melatonin
  • receptors
  • brain
  • Coryphaeniodes
  • deep-sea
  • Atlantic salmon
  • binding-sites
  • pituitary
  • goldfish
  • localization
  • innervation
  • origin

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