Influence of Melatonin on the Immune System of Fish: A Review
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AuthorsEsteban, M.A. (María Ángeles); Cuesta, A. (Alberto); Chaves-Pozo, E. (Elena); Meseguer, J. (José)
Endocrine-immune system interactions have been widely demonstrated in mammals, whereas in fish, these relationships remain unclear. Of the organs that constitute the endocrine system, the pineal gland and its secretory product melatonin act in the synchronization of daily and seasonal rhythms in most vertebrates, including fish. Seasonal differences in immunocompetence and disease prevalence have been well documented in humans. Seasonality also strongly influences the life history of fish by controlling the timing of physiological events, such as reproduction, food intake, locomotor activity, and growth performance. Apart from its synchronizing capabilities, the role of melatonin in physiological processes in fish is not thoroughly understood. The purpose of this review is to summarize current studies on the effects of melatonin on the fish immune system. These studies suggest that melatonin represents an important component of fish endocrine-immune system interactions. The elucidation ...