Thirst has evolved for vertebrate terrestrial adaptation. We previously showed that buccal drying induced a series of drinking behaviours (migration to water–taking water into the mouth–swallowing) in the amphibious mudskipper goby, thereby discovering thirst in ray-finned fish. However, roles of dipsogenic/antidipsogenic hormones, which act on the thirst center in terrestrial tetrapods, have remained unclear in the mudskipper thirst. Here we examined the hormonal effects on the mudskipper drinking behaviours, particularly the antagonistic interaction between angiotensin II (AngII) and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) which is important for thirst regulation in mammalian ‘forebrain’. Expectedly, intracerebroventricular injection of ANP in mudskippers reduced AngII-increased drinking rate. ANP also suppressed the neural activity at the ‘hindbrain’ region for the swallowing reflex, and the maintenance of buccopharyngeal water due to the swallowing inhibition may attenuate the motivation to move to water. Thus, the hormonal molecules involved in drinking regulation, as well as the influence of buccopharyngeal water, appear to be conserved in distantly related species to solve osmoregulatory problems, whereas hormonal control of thirst at the forebrain might have been acquired only in tetrapod lineage during evolution.
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