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PloS one

Neurohypophysial Hormones Regulate Amphibious Behaviour in the Mudskipper Goby.


PMID 26230718

Abstract

The neurohypophysial hormones, arginine vasotocin and isotocin, regulate both hydromineral balance and social behaviors in fish. In the amphibious mudskipper, Periophthalmus modestus, we previously found arginine-vasotocin-specific regulation of aggressive behavior, including migration of the submissive subordinate into water. This migration also implies the need for adaptation to dehydration. Here, we examined the effects of arginine vasotocin and isotocin administration on the amphibious behavior of individual mudskippers in vivo. The mudskippers remained in the water for an increased period of time after 1-8 h of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection with 500 pg/g arginine vasotocin or isotocin. The 'frequency of migration' was decreased after ICV injection of arginine vasotocin or isotocin, reflecting a tendency to remain in the water. ICV injections of isotocin receptor antagonist with arginine vasotocin or isotocin inhibited all of these hormonal effects. In animals kept out of water, mRNA expression of brain arginine vasotocin and isotocin precursors increased 3- and 1.5-fold, respectively. Given the relatively wide distribution of arginine vasotocin fibres throughout the mudskipper brain, induction of arginine vasotocin and isotocin under terrestrial conditions may be involved also in the preference for an aquatic habitat as ligands for brain isotocin receptors.

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