Background colour influence on the stress response in cultured red porgy Pagrus pagrus

J. Rotllant, L. Tort, D. Montero, M. Pavlidis, M. Martinez, S. E. Wendelaar Bonga, P. H.M. Balm

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    107 Citations (Scopus)


    Red porgy Pagrus pagrus were placed and maintained in white, grey and black background fibreglass tanks for 2 weeks. Additionally, fish kept in white and black background tanks were then subjected to crowding stress. After 2, 9, 16 and 23 days, blood samples were taken and plasma cortisol, alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and glucose values were analysed and compared with values from uncrowded fish from white or black tanks. Measurements of plasma cortisol and α-MSH in unstressed red porgy from white, grey and black tanks revealed no significant differences among the three groups. However, the results show that background colour markedly affects the in vitro interrenal sensitivity to both α-MSH and ACTH, as interrenal cells from black adapted fish had become virtually unresponsive to both secretagogues. Crowded fish on a black background showed a prominent increase in plasma cortisol after 2 days, which was followed by a recovery. In fish crowded on a white background however, the increase of cortisol was lower but was maintained through the entire experiment. Plasma α-MSH levels increased at 23 days as a consequence of crowding; this increase was also dependent on the background, being more prominent in fish placed in white background tanks. Thus, in the red porgy, a white background appears to modify the stress response, particularly in the long term. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-139
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2003


    • Background colour
    • Cortisol
    • Crowding
    • Glucose
    • Pagrus pagrus
    • Red porgy
    • Stress
    • α-MSH

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