In teleosts, prolactin is involved in calcium regulation, but its role in scale/bone metabolism is unclear. Using the in-vitro system with goldfish scales developed recently, we explored the effects of teleost prolactin, growth hormone, and somatolactin on osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Addition of prolactin at concentrations of 0.01–100 ng/ml reduced osteoclastic activity, partly via osteoclast apoptosis, after 6–18 h incubation. Conversely, growth hormone and somatolactin at a concentration of 100 ng/ml increased osteoclastic activity after 18 h incubation, indicating the specificity of the inhibitory effect of prolactin on osteoclastic activity. On the other hand, these three hormones promoted osteoblastic activity at concentrations of 10–100 ng/ml. The results from this study are the first demonstration of direct effects of prolactin on scale/bone metabolism and osteoclastic activity in a teleost.
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