Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(4), 7979-7999; doi:10.3390/ijms14047979

Influence of Melatonin on the Immune System of Fish: A Review

1 Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, International Excellence Campus, "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain 2 Marine Culture Plant of Mazarrón, Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), Azohía Street, Puerto de Mazarrón, 30860 Murcia, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2013; in revised form: 26 March 2013 / Accepted: 27 March 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Research of Melatonin)
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Abstract: 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 of the defense mechanisms of fish will facilitate the development of health management tools to support the growing finfish aquaculture industry as well as address questions concerning the origins and evolution of the immune system in vertebrates.
Keywords: endocrine-immune system; rhythms; season; melatonin; immunity; fish

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MDPI and ACS Style

Esteban, M.Á.; Cuesta, A.; Chaves-Pozo, E.; Meseguer, J. Influence of Melatonin on the Immune System of Fish: A Review. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 7979-7999.

AMA Style

Esteban MÁ, Cuesta A, Chaves-Pozo E, Meseguer J. Influence of Melatonin on the Immune System of Fish: A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(4):7979-7999.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Esteban, M. Ángeles; Cuesta, Alberto; Chaves-Pozo, Elena; Meseguer, José. 2013. "Influence of Melatonin on the Immune System of Fish: A Review." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 4: 7979-7999.

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