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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Molecular, Cellular and Physiological Evidences for the Anorexigenic Actions of Nesfatin-1 in Goldfish
Published: Friday, December 03, 2010
Author: Ronald Gonzalez et al.

by Ronald Gonzalez, Brent Kerbel, Alexander Chun, Suraj Unniappan


Nesfatin-1 is a recently discovered anorexigen encoded in the precursor peptide, nucleobindin-2 (NUCB2) in mammals. To date, nesfatin-1 has not been described in any non-mammalian species, although some information is available in the sequenced genomes of several species. Our objective was to characterize nesfatin-1 in fish.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In the present study, we employed molecular, immunohistochemical, and physiological studies to characterize the structure, distribution, and appetite regulatory effects of nesfatin-1 in a non-mammalian vertebrate. A very high conservation in NUCB2 sequences, especially in the nesfatin-1 region was found in lower vertebrates. Abundant expression of NUCB2 mRNA was detected in several tissues including the brain and liver of goldfish. Nesfatin-1-like immunoreactive cells are present in the feeding regulatory nucleus of the hypothalamus and in the gastrointestinal tract of goldfish. Approximately 6-fold increase in NUCB2 mRNA levels was found in the liver after 7-day food-deprivation, and a similar increase was also found after short-term fasting. This points toward a possible liver specific role for NUCB2 in the control of metabolism during food-deprivation. Meanwhile, ~2-fold increase at 1 and 3 h post-feeding and an ~3-fold reduction after a 7-day food-deprivation was observed in NUCB2 mRNA in the goldfish hypothalamus. In vivo, a single intraperitoneal injection of the full-length native (goldfish; gf) nesfatin-1 at a dose of 50 ng/g body weight induced a 23% reduction of food intake one hour post-injection in goldfish. Furthermore, intracerebroventricular injection of gfnesfatin-1 at a dose of 5 ng/g body weight resulted in ~50% reduction in food intake.


Our results provide molecular, anatomical and functional evidences to support potential anorectic and metabolic roles for endogenous nesfatin-1 in goldfish. Collectively, we provide novel information on NUCB2 in non-mammals and an anorexigenic role for nesfatin-1 in goldfish.