1. 1.

    Isolated photophores of the epipelagic fish Porichthys notatus become spontaneously luminescent after a few hours in saline at 20°C. This luminescence is not significantly affected by the adrenergic antagonists propranolol and phentolamine.

  2. 2.

    The addition of glucose, mannose, fructose or galactose in saline inhibits glowing according to their respective rates of metabolism in fishes.

  3. 3.

    Glycolytic metabolites, such as phosphoenolpyruvate and pyruvate, prevent or abolish the spontaneous glowing. Monoiodoacetate (IAA), the classical inhibitor of glycolysis, reverses the inhibitory effect of glucose but not of pyruvate.

  4. 4.

    We suggested that glycolysis provides an energy supply to an inhibitory mechanism that keeps the Porichthys photophore in a non-luminescent state.

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