Prostaglandin E2 synchronizes lunar-regulated beach spawning in grass puffers.
IF: 10.900
Cited by: 3


Many organisms living along the coastlines synchronize their reproduction with the lunar cycle. At the time of spring tide, thousands of grass puffers (Takifugu alboplumbeus) aggregate and vigorously tremble their bodies at the water's edge to spawn. To understand the mechanisms underlying this spectacular semilunar beach spawning, we collected the hypothalamus and pituitary from male grass puffers every week for 2 months. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis identified 125 semilunar genes, including genes crucial for reproduction (e.g., gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 [gnrh1], luteinizing hormone β subunit [lhb]) and receptors for pheromone prostaglandin E (PGE). PGE2 is secreted into the seawater during the spawning, and its administration activates olfactory sensory neurons and triggers trembling behavior of surrounding individuals. These results suggest that PGE2 synchronizes lunar-regulated beach-spawning behavior in grass puffers. To further explore the mechanism that regulates the lunar-synchronized transcription of semilunar genes, we searched for semilunar transcription factors. Spatial transcriptomics and multiplex fluorescent in situ hybridization showed co-localization of the semilunar transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein δ (cebpd) and gnrh1, and cebpd induced the promoter activity of gnrh1. Taken together, our study demonstrates semilunar genes that mediate lunar-synchronized beach-spawning behavior. VIDEO ABSTRACT.


Spatial Transcriptomics
beach spawning
biological clock
circalunar rhythms
grass puffer
lunar cycle
neap tide
seasonal reproduction
semilunar rhythm
spring tide

MeSH terms

In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
Prostaglandins E


Chen, Junfeng
Katada, Yuma
Okimura, Kousuke
Yamaguchi, Taiki
Guh, Ying-Jey
Nakayama, Tomoya
Maruyama, Michiyo
Furukawa, Yuko
Nakane, Yusuke
Yamamoto, Naoyuki
Sato, Yoshikatsu
Ando, Hironori
Sugimura, Asako
Tabata, Kazufumi
Sato, Ayato
Yoshimura, Takashi