Expression of RING finger protein 38 in serotonergic neurons in the brain of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus

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Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is one of the major neurotransmitters, modulating diverse behaviours and physiological functions. Really interesting new gene (RING) finger protein 38 (RNF38) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase whose function remains unclear. A recent study has shown a possible regulatory relationship between RNF38 and the 5-HT system. Therefore, to gain insight into the role of RNF38 in the central 5-HT system, we identified the neuroanatomical location of 5-HT positive cells and investigated the relationship between RNF38 and the 5-HT system in the brain of the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Immunocytochemistry revealed three neuronal populations of 5-HT in the brain of tilapia; the paraventricular organ (PVO), the dorsal and ventral periventricular pretectal nuclei (PPd and PPv), and, the superior and inferior raphe (SR and IR). The 5-HT neuronal number was highest in the raphe (90.4 in SR, 284.6 in IR), followed by the pretectal area (22.3 in PPd, 209.8 in PPv). Double-label immunocytochemistry showed that the majority of 5-HT neurons express RNF38 nuclear proteins (66.5% in PPd; 77.9% in PPv; 35.7% in SR; 49.1% in IR). These findings suggest that RNF38 could be involved in E3 ubiquitination in the central 5-HT system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2018


  • Brain
  • E3 ubiquitin ligase
  • Periventricular pretectal nuclei
  • Raphe
  • Teleost
  • Tilapia

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