Analysis of steroidogenic pathway key transcripts in interrenal cells isolated by laser microdissection (LMD) in stressed rainbow trout

Camino Fierro-Castro, María Carmen Santa-Cruz, Marta Hernández-Sánchez, Mariana Teles, Lluís Tort

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12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Inc. An assessment of the key transcripts expression of the steroidogenesis-related genes in rainbow trout subjected to either acute or chronic stress was performed in both interrenal cells and whole head kidney tissue. The analysis of interrenal cells was possible thanks to the use, for the first time in this specific type of cells, of the technique of laser microdissection (LMD) which allows to isolate specific cells and process them independently of other surrounding cells in the tissue. The results indicated that both acute and chronic stressors induced a significant up-regulation of the steroidogenesis-related genes with a higher but expected degree in the isolated cells. In addition, under acute stress a delay between cortisol levels and transcript expression was found. Under chronic stress a clear relation between plasma cortisol levels, mRNA transcription and interrenal tissue area was observed, since all parameters were concomitantly increased at day 5 after stress. Moreover results indicated that the LMD technique allowed ascertaining with more precision and accuracy whether and when the steroidogenesis-related genes were significantly expressed, disregarding the noise produced by other cells present in the head kidney. Results also showed a typical physiological response in plasma parameters and a positive relationship between plasma cortisol data and transcript abundance in isolated cells. The present results may help to better understand the mechanisms behind the interrenal response to stress challenges in fish.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
JournalComparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Fish
  • Interrenal cells
  • Laser microdissection
  • Stress


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