Citation Migaud H, Davie A, Martinez-Chavez CC & Al‐Khamees S (2007) Evidence for differential photic regulation of pineal melatonin synthesis in teleosts. Journal of Pineal Research, 43 (4), pp. 327-335. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-079X.2007.00480.x
Abstract The aim of this study was to compare the circadian control of melatonin production in teleosts. To do so, the effects of ophthalmectomy on circulating melatonin rhythms were studied along with ex vivo pineal culture in six different teleosts. Results strongly suggested that the circadian control of melatonin production could have dramatically changed with at least three different systems being present in teleosts when one considers the photic regulation of pineal melatonin production. First, salmonids presented a decentralized system in which the pineal gland responds directly to light independently of the eyes. Then, in seabass and cod both the eyes and the pineal gland are required to sustain full night-time melatonin production. Finally, a third type of circadian control of melatonin production is proposed in tilapia and catfish in which the pineal gland would not be light sensitive (or only slightly) and required the eyes to perceive light and inhibit melatonin synthesis. Further studies (anatomical, ultrastructural, retinal projections) are needed to confirm these results. Ex vivo experiments indirectly confirmed these results, as while the pineal gland responded normally to day–night rhythms in salmonids, seabass and cod, only very low levels were obtained at night in tilapia and no melatonin could be measured from isolated pineal glands in catfish. Together, these findings suggest that mechanisms involved in the perception of light and the transduction of this signal through the circadian axis has changed in teleosts possibly as a reflection of the photic environment in which they have evolved in.