Akiyoshi Takahashi

Kitasato University, Edo, Tokyo, Japan

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Publications (141)308.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of specific wavelengths of light on the growth of barfin flounder. The fish, reared in white tanks in a dark room, were irradiated with light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with peak wavelengths of 464 nm (blue), 518 nm (green), and 635 nm (red) under a controlled photoperiod (10.5:13.5, light–dark cycle; 06:00–16:30, light). Fish were reared for four weeks in three independent experiments at three different water temperatures (averages of 14.9 °C, 8.6 °C, and 6.6 °C). The fish irradiated with blue and green light had higher specific growth rates (% body weight⋅day-1) than fish irradiated with red light. Notably, green light had the greatest effect on growth among the three light wavelengths at 6.6 °C. In the brains of fish reared at 6.6 °C, the amounts of melanin-concentrating hormone 1 mRNA under green light were lower than those under red light, and amounts of proopiomelanocortin-C mRNA under blue and green light were higher than those under red light. No differences were observed for other neuropeptides tested. In the pituitary, no difference was observed in growth hormone mRNA content. In plasma, higher levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I were observed in fish under green light than those of fish under red light. These results suggest that the endocrine systems of barfin flounder are modulated by a specific wavelength of light that stimulates somatic growth.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jul 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Green light irradiation facilitates the somatic growth of barfin flounder (Verasper moseri). However, the V. moseri visual system, which may be associated with somatic growth by acting on the endocrine system upon exposure to this particular wavelength, remains largely unexplored. Herein, we characterized the visual opsin repertoire of V. moseri to understand the molecular basis underlying this effect. The five types of visual opsins that are found in vertebrates were cloned from RNA that was extracted from the eyes of V. moseri. Notably, V. moseri possessed one pseudogene (RH2-A) and two intact (RH2-B and RH2-C) copies of "green-sensitive" opsin genes. The wavelengths of maximum absorption spectra (λmax) for each of the reconstituted photopigments were 552nm for "red-sensitive" LWS, 506nm for RH2-B, 490nm for RH2-C, 482nm and 416nm for "blue-sensitive" SWS2A and SWS2B, respectively, 367nm for "ultraviolet-sensitive" SWS1, and 494nm for "dim-light sensitive rhodopsin" RH1. The λmax of SWS2A was longer than that of any other reported vertebrate SWS2 opsin. By measuring the expression level of these opsin genes with quantitative RT-PCR in 3-, 15-, and 27-month-old fish, we found that RH2-B and SWS2A were expressed at a constant level, whereas the expression of LWS, RH2-C, SWS2B, and SWS1 opsin genes decreased, and that of RH1 increased with age. Barfin flounders inhabit inshore waters at a young age and expand their habitat to deep sea areas as they age, and green light is relatively abundant in deep water compared to the lights of other wavelengths in shallow water. Our results indicate that gene repertoire and expression profile of the opsin genes of barfin flounder are adaptive to their habitat shift that occurs during development, with some opsins acquiring a distinct λmax. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Gene
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    ABSTRACT: In teleosts, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) plays a key role in skin color changes. MCH is released into general circulation from the neurohypophysis, which causes pigment aggregation in the skin chromatophores. Recently, a novel MCH (MCH2) precursor gene, which is orthologous to the mammalian MCH precursor gene, has been identified in some teleosts using genomic data mining. The physiological function of MCH2 remains unclear. In the present study, we cloned the cDNA for MCH2 from barfin flounder, Verasper moseri. The putative prepro-MCH2 contains 25 amino acids of MCH2 peptide region. Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry with a high resolution mass analyzer were used for confirming the amino acid sequences of MCH1 and MCH2 peptides from the pituitary extract. In vitro synthesized MCH1 and MCH2 induced pigment aggregation in a dose-dependent manner. A mammalian cell-based assay indicated that both MCH1 and MCH2 functionally interacted with both the MCH receptor types 1 and 2. Mch1 and mch2 are exclusively expressed in the brain and pituitary. The levels of brain mch2 transcript were three times higher in the fish that were chronically acclimated to a white background than those acclimated to a black background. These results suggest that in V. moseri, MCH1 and MCH2 are involved in the response to changes in background colors, during the process of chromatophore control.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
  • Yuki Kobayashi · Kanta Mizusawa · Yuta Arai · Hiroaki Chiba · Akiyoshi Takahashi
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    ABSTRACT: β-Endorphin (β-END) is an endogenous opioid peptide derived from the common precursor proopiomelanocortin, together with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). Although the roles of ACTH and MSH in fish are well known, the roles of circulating β-END have not been elucidated. In the present study, we evaluated the biological roles of β-END in the goldfish. First, we cloned the cDNAs of the delta opioid receptor (DOR), kappa opioid receptor (KOR), and mu opioid receptor (MOR) from the brain of the goldfish. Second, we analyzed the tissues that expressed these genes by using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Among the several tissues that contained the opioid gene transcripts, the mRNAs of DOR, KOR, and MOR were detected in interrenal cells of the head kidney, which produce cortisol. On the basis of these results, the effects of β-END on cortisol release were examined in vitro. β-END alone suppressed the basal release of cortisol in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, β-END inhibited the cortisol-releasing activity of ACTH1-24. Therefore, it is probable that the role of β-END in the interrenal cells is the suppression of cortisol release. Interestingly, the suppression of cortisol release was not observed with N-acetyl- β-END, indicating that acetylation decreases the activity of β-END in interrenal cells.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: To better understand the physiological mechanisms underlying reproductive dysfunction, such as impaired vitellogenesis and final oocyte maturation, we assessed endocrinological differences between captive and wild female jack mackerel (Trachurus japonicus). The presence of three gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) peptides was immunologically evaluated in jack mackerel brain tissues. Full-length cDNAs encoding GnRHs (gnrh1, gnrh2, and gnrh3) and gonadotropin subunits (fshb, lhb, and gpa) were cloned, sequenced, and quantitatively assayed. Of the captive females, 60% failed to undergo vitellogenesis, displaying immature (IM) or atretic oocytes, whereas 80% of wild females were captured during late vitellogenesis (LV) or ovulation (OV). The gnrh1 expression was significantly lower in captive fish than in wild LV and OV fish, while there were no significant differences in the expression of gnrh2 or gnrh3. The expression of fshb was lower in captive IM fish than in wild LV fish, but no significant differences were observed between the captive IM and LV individuals. The lhb expression was elevated in the wild LV and OV fish, and gpa expression was greatest in the wild OV fish. Serum estradiol-17β levels were significantly lower in captive IM fish than in captive LV fish. The results indicate that captive-rearing stress may impair vitellogenesis and negatively influence the transcription of gnrh1 in the brain and GtH synthesis in the pituitary.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Aquaculture
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    Akiyoshi Takahashi · Kanta Mizusawa · Masafumi Amano

    Preview · Article · Apr 2014
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    Sho Kakizawa · Hiroyuki Kaiya · Akiyoshi Takahashi

    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Frontiers in Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: The stress-related corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) was first identified by isolation of its cDNA from the brain of the Japanese eel Anguilla japonica. CRH cDNA encodes a signal peptide, a cryptic peptide and CRH (41 amino acids). The sequence homology to mammalian CRH is high. Next, the distribution of CRH-immunoreactive (ir) cell bodies and fibers in the brain and pituitary were examined by immunohistochemistry. CRH-ir cell bodies were detected in several brain regions, e.g., nucleus preopticus pars magnocellularis, nucleus preopticus pars gigantocellularis and formatio reticularis superius. In the brain, CRH-ir fibers were distributed not only in the hypothalamus but also in various regions. Some CRH-ir fibers projected to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) cells in the rostral pars distalis of the pituitary and also the α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) cells in the pars intermedia of the pituitary. Finally, the neuroanatomical relationship between the CRH neurons and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons was examined by dual-label immunohistochemistry. CRH-ir fibers were found to be in close contact with GnRH-ir cell bodies in the hypothalamus and in the midbrain tegmentum and GnRH-ir fibers were in close contact with CRH-ir cell bodies in the nucleus preopticus pars magnocellularis. These results suggest that CRH has some physiological functions other than the stimulation of ACTH and α-MSH secretion and that reciprocal connections may exist between the CRH neurons and GnRH neurons in the brain of the Japanese eel.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Cell and Tissue Research
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    Akiyoshi Takahashi · Kanta Mizusawa
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    ABSTRACT: Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is the precursor of several peptide hormones generated in the pituitary gland. After biosynthesis, POMC undergoes several posttranslational modifications, including proteolytic cleavage, acetylation, amidation, phosphorylation, glycosylation, and disulfide linkage formation, which generate mature POMC-derived peptides. Therefore, POMC is a useful model for the investigation of posttranslational modifications. These processes have been extensively investigated in mammals, primarily in rodents. In addition, over the last decade, much information has been obtained about the posttranslational processing of POMC in non-mammalian animals such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds through sequencing and peptide identification by mass spectrometry. One POMC modification, acetylation, is known to modulate the biological activities of POMC-derived α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) having an acetyl group at N-terminal through potentiation or inhibition. This bidirectional regulation depends on its intrinsic roles in the tissue or cell; for example, α-MSH, as well as desacetyl (Des-Ac)-α-MSH, stimulates pigment dispersion in the xanthophores of a flounder. In contrast, α-MSH does not stimulate pigment dispersion in the melanophores of the same species, whereas Des-Ac-α-MSH does. Regulation of pigment-dispersing activities may be associated with the subtle balance in the expression of receptor genes. In this review, we consider the posttranslational modifications of POMC in vertebrates from an evolutionary aspect, with a focus on the relationship between acetylation and the biological activities of α-MSH as an important consequence of posttranslational modification.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Frontiers in Endocrinology
  • Naoki Yoshikawa · Taihei Matsuda · Akiyoshi Takahashi · Masatomo Tagawa
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    ABSTRACT: Barfin flounder larvae exhibit unique black coloration, as well as left-right asymmetry in juvenile stage as in other flatfish. In this study, we first assessed the changes in melanophores with development and then investigated their responsiveness to melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) during metamorphosis. Larval-type melanophores appeared on both sides of the body before metamorphosis, whereas adult-type melanophores appeared only on the ocular side after metamorphosis. Even in the individuals of this species displaying black coloration, the density of larval-type melanophores was similar to that in transparent larvae of other species. However, unlike in transparent larvae, larval-type melanophores completely dispersed in the black larvae of this species. Therefore, the black coloration during larval stages was mainly due to dispersion, and not the density, of larval-type melanophores. In vitro MCH treatment revealed, for the first time, the responsiveness of melanophores in larval stages. On the ocular side, larval-type melanophores aggregated against MCH during larval stages, while, in the larvae at later metamorphic stages and in juveniles, larval-type melanophores did not aggregate, although aggregation of adult-type melanophores was noted. In contrast, on the blind side, the responsiveness of larval-type melanophores to MCH was consistently present from larval to juvenile stages. The metamorphic transition of MCH responsiveness from larval- to adult-type melanophores only on the ocular side suggests the larval (therefore, immature) nature of the blind side skin. We propose that the inhibited development, and thus the retention of the larval-type skin leads to the formation of the blind side characteristics and is the central mechanism for the flatfish asymmetry.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
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    Full-text · Dataset · May 2013
  • Akiyoshi Takahashi · Yuki Kobayashi · Kanta Mizusawa
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    ABSTRACT: In fish, the pituitary-interrenal axis is associated with stress response and a variety of biological processes such as metabolism, immune response, and growth. The major hormones involved in this axis are adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), released from the pars distalis of the pituitary gland, and corticosteroid, released from the interrenal gland that is embedded in the head kidney in ray-finned fish. The ACTH signal, by which corticosteroid release is stimulated, is transmitted by melanocortin (MC) receptors on interrenal cells. Thus, the interaction of ACTH and MC receptors is the pivotal event for interrenal cells. Knowledge about ACTH and MC receptors in lamprey, cartilaginous fish, and ray-finned fish is available, and it suggests the pituitary-interrenal axis was established early in vertebrate evolution. Moreover, the data, including our recent results from flounders and lampreys, provide interesting features about ligand-receptor interactions. This review focuses on the characteristics of ACTH, the proopiomelanocortin gene encoding ACTH, and the MC receptor, and it is mostly based on the results of our investigations.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
  • Akiyoshi Takahashi · Kanta Mizusawa · Sumihisa Furufuji · Shigeto Kikuchi

    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · NIPPON SUISAN GAKKAISHI
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    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: In teleosts, as their names suggest, the main target cells of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) are the chromatophores in the skin, where these peptide hormones play opposing roles in regulating pigment migration. These effects are obvious especially when their activities are examined in vitro. On the contrary, while MCH also exhibits activity in vivo, MSH does not always stimulate pigment dispersion in vivo because of predominant sympathetic nervous system. A series of our investigations indicates that this is also the case in barfin flounder, Verasper moseri. Interestingly, we observed that mch expression and the tissue contents of MCH can be easily influenced by changes in environmental color conditions, while gene expression and tissue contents related to MSH scarcely respond to color changes. Transcripts of MSH and MCH receptor genes have been identified in a variety of tissues of this fish species, suggesting that these are multifunctional peptide hormones. Nevertheless, chromatophores in the skin still offer important clues in the efforts to elucidate the functions of melanotropic peptides. Herein, we review the most recent advancements of our studies on MSH and MCH and their receptors in the barfin flounder and discuss the interrelations between these peptides, focusing on their roles in influencing pigment migration in the skin.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the distribution of the octadecaneuropeptide (ODN) in the goldfish brain and to look for a possible effect of ODN on somatolactin (SL) release from pituitary cells. A discrete population of ODN-immunoreactive neurones was localized in the lateral part of the nucleus lateralis tuberis. These neurones sent projections through the neurohypophyseal tract towards the neurohypophysis, and nerve fibres were seen in close vicinity of SL-producing cells in the pars intermedia (PI). Incubation of cultured goldfish pituitary cells with graded concentrations of ODN (10(-9) -10(-5) M) induced a dose-dependent stimulation of SL release. ODN-evoked SL release was blocked by the metabotropic endozepine receptor antagonist cyclo(1-8) [DLeu(5) ]OP, but was not affected by the central-type benzodiazepine receptor antagonist flumazenil. ODN-induced SL release was suppressed by treatment with the PLC inhibitor U-73122 but not with the PKA inhibitor H-89. These results indicate that, in fish, ODN produced by hypothalamic neurones acts as a hypophysiotropic neuropeptide stimulating SL release. The effect of ODN is mediated through a metabotropic endozepine receptor positively coupled to the PLC/IP(3) /PKC-signaling pathway. © 2012 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Neuroendocrinology
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    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuromodulator, synthesized in the hypothalamus, that regulates both appetite and energy homeostasis in mammals. MCH was initially identified in teleost fishes as a pituitary gland hormone that induced melanin aggregation in chromatophores in the skin; however, this function of MCH has not been observed in other vertebrates. Recent studies suggest that MCH is involved in teleost feeding behavior, spurring the hypothesis that the original function of MCH in early vertebrates was appetite regulation. The present study reports the results of cDNAs cloning encoding preproMCH and two MCH receptors from an elasmobranch fish, Sphyrna lewini, a member of Chondrichthyes, the earliest diverged class in gnathostomes. The putative MCH peptide is composed of 19 amino acids, similar in length to the mammalian MCH. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction revealed that MCH is expressed in the hypothalamus in S. lewini MCH cell bodies and fibers were identified by immunochemistry in the hypothalamus, but not in the pituitary gland, suggesting that MCH is not released via the pituitary gland into general circulation. MCH receptor genes mch-r1 and mch-r2 were expressed in the S. lewini hypothalamus, but were not found in the skin. These results indicate that MCH does not have a peripheral function, such as a melanin-concentrating effect, in the skin of S. lewini hypothalamic MCH mRNA levels were not affected by fasting, suggesting that feeding conditions might not affect the expression of MCH in the hypothalamus.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · General and Comparative Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Somatolactin (SL) is a pituitary hormone belonging to the growth hormone/prolactin family of adenohypophyseal hormones. In teleost fish, SL is encoded by one or two paralogous genes, namely SL-α and -β. Our previous studies have revealed that pituitary adenylate-cyclase-activating polypeptide stimulates SL release from cultured goldfish pituitary cells, whereas melanin-concentrating hormone suppresses this release. As in other fish, the goldfish possesses SL-α and -β. So far, however, no useful means of detecting the respective SLs immunologically in this species has been possible. In order to achieve this aim, we raised rabbit antisera against synthetic peptide fragments deduced from the goldfish SL-α and -β cDNA sequences. Using these antisera, we observed adenohypophyseal cells showing SL-α- and -β-like immunoreactivities in the goldfish pituitary, especially the pars intermedia (PI). Several cells in the PI showed the colocalization of SL-α- and -β-like immunoreactivities. Then, using single-cell polymerase chain reaction with laser microdissection, we examined SL-α and -β gene expression in adenohypophyseal cells showing SL-α- or -β-like immunoreactivity. Among cultured pituitary cells, we observed three types of cell: those that possess transcripts of SL-α, -β, or both. These results suggest a polymorphism of SL-producing cells in the goldfish pituitary.
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · Cell and Tissue Research

Publication Stats

3k Citations
308.15 Total Impact Points


  • 1981-2014
    • Kitasato University
      • • Department of Marine Biosciences
      • • Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences
      • • Medical Department
      Edo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1985-1990
    • The University of Tokyo
      • Department of Aquatic Bioscience
      Tōkyō, Japan