Hypo-osmotic stress-induced physiological and ion-osmoregulatory responses in European sea bass (**Dicentrarchus labrax**) are modulated differentially by nutritional status
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Comparative biochemistry and physiology : A : molecular & integrative physiology. - London
, p. 87-99
University of Antwerp
We investigated the impact of nutritional status on the physiological, metabolic and ion-osmoregulatory performance of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) when acclimated to seawater (32 ppt), brackish water (20 and 10 ppt) and hyposaline water (2.5 ppt) for 2 weeks. Following acclimation to different salinities, fish were either fed or fasted (unfed for 14 days). Plasma osmolality, [Na+], [Cl−] and muscle water content were severely altered in fasted fish acclimated to 10 and 2.5 ppt in comparison to normal seawater-acclimated fish, suggesting ion regulation and acidbase balance disturbances. In contrast to feed-deprived fish, fed fish were able to avoid osmotic perturbation more effectively. This was accompanied by an increase in Na+/K+-ATPase expression and activity, transitory activation of H+-ATPase (only at 2.5 ppt) and down-regulation of Na+/K+/2Cl− gene expression. Ammonia excretion rate was inhibited to a larger extent in fasted fish acclimated to low salinities while fed fish were able to excrete efficiently. Consequently, the build-up of ammonia in the plasma of fed fish was relatively lower. Energy stores, especially glycogen and lipid, dropped in the fasted fish at low salinities and progression towards the anaerobic metabolic pathway became evident by an increase in plasma lactate level. Overall, the results indicate no osmotic stress in both feeding treatments within the salinity range of 32 to 20 ppt. However, at lower salinities (102.5 ppt) feed deprivation tends to reduce physiological, metabolic, ion-osmo-regulatory and molecular compensatory mechanisms and thus limits the fish's abilities to adapt to a hypo-osmotic environment.