Expression of neuropeptide Y and gonadotropin-releasing hormone gene types in the brain of female Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) during mouthbrooding and food restriction

Kalpana Das, Satoshi Ogawa, Takashi Kitahashi, Ishwar S. Parhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A cichlid fish, the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), is a maternal mouthbrooder, which exhibits minimum energy expenditure and slower ovarian cycles during mouthbrooding. The objective of this study was to observe changes in the gene expression of key neuropeptides involved in the control of appetite and reproduction, including neuropeptide Y a (NPYa), reproductive neuropeptides: gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH1, GnRH2 and GnRH3) and kisspeptin (Kiss2) during mouthbrooding (4- and 12-days), 12-days of food restriction and 12-days of food restriction followed by refeeding. The food restriction regime showed a significant increase in npya mRNA levels in the telencephalon. However, there were no significant alterations in npya mRNA levels during mouthbrooding. gnrh1 mRNA levels were significantly lower in mouthbrooding female as compared with females with food restriction. gnrh3 mRNA levels were also significantly lower in female with 12-days of mouthbrooding, 12-days of food restriction followed by 12-days of refeeding when compared with controls. There were no significant differences in gnrh2 and kiss2 mRNA levels between groups under different feeding regimes. No significant changes were observed in mRNA levels of receptors for peripheral metabolic signaling molecules: ghrelin (GHS-R1a and GHS-R1b) and leptin (Lep-R). These results suggested that unaffected npya mRNA levels in the telencephalon might contribute to suppression of appetite in mouthbrooding female tilapia. Furthermore, lower gnrh1 and gnrh3 mRNA levels may influence the suppression of reproductive functions such as progression of ovarian cycle and reproductive behaviours, while GnRH2 and Kiss2 may not play a significant roles in reproduction under food restriction condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Appetite
  • Behaviour
  • Cichlid
  • Fasting
  • Reproduction

Cite this