Effect of Fish Stock Density on Hormone Genes Expression from Brain and Gastrointestinal Tract of Salmo salar

Claudio A. Álvarez, Paula A. Santana, Claudia B. Cárcamo, Constanza Cárdenas, Byron Morales-Lange, Felipe Ramírez, Cristian Valenzuela, Sebastián Boltaña, Javier Alcaíno, Fanny Guzmán, Luis Mercado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A variety of long-term stress conditions may exist in fish cultivation, some of which are so severe that fish can no longer reestablish homeostasis. In teleost fish, the brain and gastrointestinal tract integrate signals that include the perception of stress factors regulating physiological responses, such as social stress by fish population density, where peripheral and central signals, such as peptide hormones, are the main regulators. Therefore, we proposed in this study to analyze the effect of different stock densities (SD) in the gene expression of brain neuropeptide Y (NPY) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), together with the gastrointestinal peptide hormones leptin (Lep), vasointestinal peptide (VIP), and protachykinin-1 (Prk-1) in Salmo salar post-smolt. The coding sequence of S. salar VIP and Prk-1 precursors were firstly cloned and characterized. Then, the mRNA expression of these genes, together with the NPY, Lep, and CGRP genes, were evaluated in post-smolts kept at 11 Kg/m3, 20 Kg/m3, and 40 Kg/m3 . At 14 days of culture, the brain CGRP and liver leptin mRNA levels increased three and tenfold in the post-smolt salmons kept at the highest SD, respectively. The high levels of leptin were kept during all the fish culture experiments. In addition, the highest expression of intestine VIP mRNA was obtained on Day 21 in the group of 40 Kg/m3 returning to baseline on Day 40. In terms of stress biochemical parameters, cortisol levels were increased in the 20 Kg/m3 and 40 Kg/m3 groups on Day 40 and were the highest in the 20 Kg/m3 group on Day 14. This study provides new insight into the gastrointestinal signals that could be affected by chronic stress induced by high stock density in fish farming. Thus, the expression of these peptide hormones could be used as molecular markers to improve production practices in fish aquaculture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1174
JournalAnimals
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • peptide hormone
  • Salmo salar
  • stock density
  • stress

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