Author(s): RandWeaver M, Pottinger TG, Sumpter JP
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Abstract The preliminary finding that plasma levels of somatolactin (SL) were markedly elevated following stress caused by confinement in chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) prompted a more detailed study of SL dynamics during stress. SL levels have been determined in the plasma of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) during exposure to acute (0-30 min) and short (0-24 h) periods of stress resulting from handling and confinement. The results show that SL levels increase rapidly within minutes following the onset of stress, reach a peak between 1 and 2 h, decline over the next 3 h, and then show an additional increase again by 24 h. During acute stress caused by confinement, the increase in plasma SL levels occurred within 2 min, thus showing a more rapid response than cortisol. This suggests that the response is mediated directly by the hypothalamus and is not a result of a feedback mechanism. The results also demonstrate that SL secretion in response to stress is at least partially under genetic control. In the short-term stress experiment, progeny of fish selected as high responders or low responders to stress, based on the magnitude of the plasma cortisol levels induced by stress, were used, and these fish showed similarly accentuated or attenuated release of SL following stress. These results clearly demonstrate that non-specific environmental stress causes rapid activation of SL-secreting cells in the pars intermedia, suggesting that this hormone has an important role in the adaptive response of fish to stress.
This article was published in J Endocrinol
and referenced in Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal