Prolactin (PRL)-releasing peptide (PrRP) is a strong candidate stimulator of pituitary PRL transcription and secretion in teleosts. However, the role in control of extrapituitary PRL expression is unclear even in mammals. To study the possible presence of PrRP-PRL axes not only in the brain-pituitary but also in peripheral organs, the expression patterns of PrRP, PRL and growth hormone (GH) were characterized in amphibious euryhaline mudskippers (Periophthalmus modestus). PrRP mRNA is abundantly expressed not only in the brain but also in the liver, gut and ovary, while less abundant expression was also detected in the skin and kidney. Corresponding to the distribution of PrRP mRNA, PRL mRNA was also detectable in these organs. During adaptation to different environments, the changes in mRNA levels of PrRP paralleled those in PRL in the brain-pituitary, liver and gut in an organ-specific manner. Brain PrRP mRNA and the pituitary PRL mRNA increased under freshwater and terrestrial conditions (P< 0.05); expression of PrRP and PRL in the gut of freshwater fish was higher (P< 0.05) than those in sea-water fish although there were no changes in fish kept out of water; no significant change was seen in the liver. Expressions of GH were not correlated with PrRP. In the gut, PrRP and PRL appear to be co-localized in the mucosal layer, especially in the mucous cells. Thus, PrRP may also be a local modulator of extrapituitary PRL expression and the PrRP-PRL axes in various organs may play an organ-specific role during environmental adaptation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology