Central Melatonin Binding Sites in Rainbow Trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss)


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A combination of in vitro autoradiography and membrane homogenate receptor assays has been used to localize and characterize 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin binding sites in the brain of the rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss). Specific 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin binding, defined as that displaced by 1 mu M melatonin, increased linearly with increasing protein concentration in membrane homogenates of whole trout brain. Specific binding was both time and temperature dependent and reversible in the presence of 1 mu M melatonin. Binding was saturable at between 100-150 pM 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin and Scatchard analysis of saturation isotherms revealed a dissociation constant (K-d) of 15.00 +/- 0.95 pM and a maximum receptor number (B-max) of 42.35 +/- 2.70 fm/mg protein (n = 16). Addition of 10(-4) M GTP gamma S (an analogue of guanosine triphosphate) to saturation isotherms apparently reduced the B-max by 75% on average with no apparent change in the affinity of the binding. Scatchard analysis of saturation isotherms generated from whole brain membrane homogenates of trout kept on long days (15 hr light:9 hr dark) and killed either during the midlight or middark phase showed no significant differences in either the K-d or the B-max of 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin or the B binding, although a robust rhythm in melatonin concentration was confirmed in these fish. Displacement of 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin binding with increasing concentrations of competing ligands gave an order of potency of 2-iodomelatonin > melatonin much greater than 5-HT. Localization of specific central 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin binding in the rainbow trout showed high levels of binding associated with neuronal areas involved in the processing of visual signals, partic ularly the optic tectum and nucleus rotundus. Lower levels of binding were present over the hypothalamus but no specific binding was found over the pituitary. Thus 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin binding in the rainbow trout brain fulfills the basic criteria for a receptor linked to a mediatory G-protein and is found widely localized within the trout brain. (C) 1994 Academic Press, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1994


  • Salmo-Gairdneri
  • 2-<I-125>iodomelatonin BINDING
  • guanine-nucleotides
  • ovarian develoment
  • pars tuberalis
  • photoperiod
  • brain
  • receptors
  • reproduction
  • affinity


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