Junpei Yamashita, Akio Takeuchi, Kohei Hosono, Thomas Fleming, Yoshitaka Nagahama, Kataaki Okubo*


Recent studies in mice demonstrate that a subset of neurons in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) that express galanin play crucial roles in regulating parental behavior in both sexes. However, little information is available on the function of galanin in social behaviors in other species. Here, we report that, in medaka, a subset of MPOA galanin neurons occurred nearly exclusively in males, resulting from testicular androgen stimulation. Galanin-deficient medaka showed a greatly reduced incidence of male–male aggressive chases. Furthermore, while treatment of female medaka with androgen induced male-typical aggressive acts, galanin deficiency in these females attenuated the effect of androgen on chases. Given their male-biased and androgen-dependent nature, the subset of MPOA galanin neurons most likely mediate androgen-dependent male–male chases. Histological studies further suggested that variability in the projection targets of the MPOA galanin neurons may account for the species-dependent functional differences in these evolutionarily conserved neural substrates.

Paper Information

: eLife
: 10.7554/eLife.59470