This study investigated the effects of a drop in water temperature (18°C to 9°C in 24 h) on the pituitary and interrenal hormones of the gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata. The in vitro sensitivity of the interrenal tissue to ACTH, plasma levels of cortisol, ACTH, α-MSH, GH, glucose, lactate and ions were determined. In vitro ACTH, stimulated the release of cortisol from isolated interrenal glands from control gilthead sea bream in a concentration dependent fashion. However, the interrenal cells were less sensitive to ACTH as soon as 24 h following the onset of the temperature drop. At this time, plasma cortisol and ACTH levels were raised, and plasma GH concentrations were decreased, whereas no significant changes were found in plasma α-MSH. After 96 h plasma ACTH levels had recovered whereas plasma cortisol levels were still higher than controls after 8 days of the beginning of the experiment. Interrenal sensitivity had recovered after 8 days. The results may help to clarify the relationship between the stress response and the aetiology of the winter syndrome in sea bream.
- Head kidney
- Sparus aurata