Teleosts display the highest level of brain plasticity of all vertebrates. Yet we still know little about how sea-sonality affects fish behaviour and the underlying cognitive mechanisms since the common neurobehavioral fish models are native to tropical environments where seasonal variation is absent or reduced. The medaka, Oryzias latipes, which inhabits temperate zone habitats, represents a promising model in this context given its large phenotypic changes associated with seasonality and the possibility to induce seasonal plasticity by only manipulating photoperiod. Here, we report the first extended investigation of seasonal plasticity in medaka behaviour and cognition, as well as the potential underlying molecular mechanisms. We compared medaka exposed to summer photoperiod (16 h light:8 h dark) with medaka exposed to winter photoperiod (8 h light:16 h dark), and detected substantial differences. Medaka were more active and less social in summer photoperiod conditions, two effects that emerged in the second half of an open-field and a sociability test, respectively, and might be at least in part related to habituation to the testing apparatus. Moreover, the cognitive phenotype was significantly affected: in the early response to a social stimulus, brain functional lateralisation shifted between the two hemispheres under the two photoperiod conditions, and inhibitory and discrimination learning per-formance were reduced in summer conditions. Finally, the expression of genes encoding key pituitary hormones, tshss and gh, and of the tshss regulatory transcription factor tef in the brain was increased in summer photoperiod conditions. This work reveals remarkable behavioural and cognitive phenotypic plasticity in response to photoperiod in medaka, and suggests a potential regulatory role for the same hormones involved in seasonal plasticity of other vertebrates.

Medaka as a model for seasonal plasticity: Photoperiod-mediated changes in behaviour, cognition, and hormones

Lucon Xiccato, T
Primo
;
Montalbano, G;Frigato, E;Bertolucci, C
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Teleosts display the highest level of brain plasticity of all vertebrates. Yet we still know little about how sea-sonality affects fish behaviour and the underlying cognitive mechanisms since the common neurobehavioral fish models are native to tropical environments where seasonal variation is absent or reduced. The medaka, Oryzias latipes, which inhabits temperate zone habitats, represents a promising model in this context given its large phenotypic changes associated with seasonality and the possibility to induce seasonal plasticity by only manipulating photoperiod. Here, we report the first extended investigation of seasonal plasticity in medaka behaviour and cognition, as well as the potential underlying molecular mechanisms. We compared medaka exposed to summer photoperiod (16 h light:8 h dark) with medaka exposed to winter photoperiod (8 h light:16 h dark), and detected substantial differences. Medaka were more active and less social in summer photoperiod conditions, two effects that emerged in the second half of an open-field and a sociability test, respectively, and might be at least in part related to habituation to the testing apparatus. Moreover, the cognitive phenotype was significantly affected: in the early response to a social stimulus, brain functional lateralisation shifted between the two hemispheres under the two photoperiod conditions, and inhibitory and discrimination learning per-formance were reduced in summer conditions. Finally, the expression of genes encoding key pituitary hormones, tshss and gh, and of the tshss regulatory transcription factor tef in the brain was increased in summer photoperiod conditions. This work reveals remarkable behavioural and cognitive phenotypic plasticity in response to photoperiod in medaka, and suggests a potential regulatory role for the same hormones involved in seasonal plasticity of other vertebrates.
Lucon Xiccato, T; Montalbano, G; Frigato, E; Loosli, F; Foulkes, Ns; Bertolucci, C
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
1-s2.0-S0018506X22001386-main.pdf

solo gestori archivio

Descrizione: Full text editoriale
Tipologia: Full text (versione editoriale)
Licenza: NON PUBBLICO - Accesso privato/ristretto
Dimensione 3.35 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.35 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2495664
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact