Neuropeptide B mediates female sexual receptivity in medaka fish, acting in a female-specific but reversible manner

Towako Hiraki-Kajiyama, Junpei Yamashita, Keiko Yokoyama, Yukiko Kikuchi, Mikoto Nakajo, Daichi Miyazoe, Yuji Nishiike, Kaito Ishikawa, Kohei Hosono, Yukika Kawabata-Sakata, Satoshi Ansai, Masato Kinoshita, Yoshitaka Nagahama, Kataaki Okubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Male and female animals display innate sex-specific mating behaviors. In teleost fish, altering the adult sex steroid milieu can effectively reverse sex-typical mating behaviors, suggesting remarkable sexual lability of their brains as adults. In the teleost medaka, neuropeptide B (NPB) is expressed female-specifically in the brain nuclei implicated in mating behavior. Here, we demonstrate that NPB is a direct mediator of estrogen action on female mating behavior, acting in a female-specific but reversible manner. Analysis of regulatory mechanisms revealed that the female-specific expression of NPB is dependent on direct transcriptional activation by estrogen via an estrogen-responsive element and is reversed in response to changes in the adult sex steroid milieu. Behavioral studies of NPB knockouts revealed that female-specific NBP mediates female receptivity to male courtship. The female-specific NPB signaling identified herein is presumably a critical element of the neural circuitry underlying sexual dimorphism and lability of mating behaviors in teleosts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere39495
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuropeptide B mediates female sexual receptivity in medaka fish, acting in a female-specific but reversible manner'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this