Physiological studies of a unique endocrine gland in fish, named corpuscles of Stannius (CS), described a Ca2 + -regulatory function for this gland mediated by stanniocalcin-1, a hypocalcemic polypeptide hormone. However, to date, the endocrine functions of the glands have not been completely elucidated.We hypothesized that other unidentified active principles in the glands are involved in the regulation of plasma ion (Na +, Ca2 +) and/or blood pressure. In this study, transcriptome sequencing of CS glands was performed using Japanese eels (Anguilla japonica) adapted to freshwater (FW) or seawater (SW) to reveal the presence and differential expression of genes encoding proteins related to the ion-osmoregulatory and pressor functions. We acquired a total of 14.1 Mb and 12.1 Mb quality-trimmed reads from the CS glands collected from FW and SW adapted eels, respectively. The de novo assembly resulted in 9254 annotated genes. Among them, 475 genes were differentially expressed with 357 up- and 118 down-regulated in the SW group. Gene ontology analysis further demonstrated the presence of natriuresis and pressor related genes. In summary, ours is the first study using high-throughput sequencing to identify gene targets that could explain the physiological importance of the CS glands.
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