Chronic stress detrimen-tally affects animal health and homeostasis, with somatic growth, and thus skeletal muscle, being particularly affected. A detailed understanding of the underlying endocrine and molecular mechanisms of how chronic stress affects skeletal muscle growth remains lacking. To address this issue, the present study assessed primary (plasma corti-sol), secondary (key components of the GH/IGF system, muscular proteolytic pathways, and apoptosis), and tertiary (growth perfor-mance) stress responses in fine flounder (Paralichthys adspersus) exposed to crowding chronic stress. Levels of plasma cortisol, glucocorticoid receptor 2 (gr2), and its target genes (klf15 and redd1) mRNA increased significantly only at 4 wk of crowding (P < 0.05). The components of the GH/IGF system, including ligands, receptors, and their signaling pathways, were significantly downregulated at 7 wk of crowding (P < 0.05). Interestingly, chronic stress upregulated the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and the intrinsic apoptosis pathways at 4wk (P < 0.01), whereas autophagy was only significantly activated at 7 wk (P < 0.05), and meanwhile the ubiquitin-proteasome and the apoptosis pathways returned to control levels. Overall growth was inhibited in fish in the 7-wk chronic stress trial (P < 0.05). In conclusion, chronic stress directly affects muscle growth and down-regulates the GH/IGF system, an action through which muscular catabolic mechanisms are promoted by two different and nonoverlapping proteolytic pathways. These findings provide new information on molecular mechanisms involved in the negative effects that chronic stress has on muscle anabolic/catabolic signaling balance.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|State||Published - Jan 2018|
- Muscle growth