Effects of thermal stress on the expression of glucocorticoid receptor complex linked genes in Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis): Acute and adaptive stress responses

Vanessa Benítez-Dorta, María J. Caballero, Mónica B. Betancor, Manuel Manchado, Lluis Tort, Silvia Torrecillas, María J. Zamorano, Marisol Izquierdo, Daniel Montero

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21 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier Inc. The present study examined the short and mid-term effects of a rise in temperature from 18 °C to 24 °C on the expression of genes related to the stress response regulation in juveniles of Senegalese sole, Solea senegalensis. The animals were exposed to a temperature increase of 6 °C, after 1 month of acclimation at 18 °C. After this process, samples of different tissues were collected from a total of 96 fish at four sampling points: 1 h, 24 h, 3 days and 1 week. The transcript levels of a set of genes involved in the stress response such as glucocorticoid receptors 1 and 2, corticotrophin-releasing factor, corticotrophin-releasing factor binding proteins, proopiomelanocortin A and B, and cellular stress defense (heat shock protein 70, 90AA and 90AB) were quantified at these sampling points. Additionally, blood samples were also taken to measure the circulating plasma cortisol concentration. Thermal stress induced by increasing temperature prompted an elevation of plasma cortisol levels in juvenile Senegalese sole after 1 h as a short-term response, and a consecutive increase after one week, as a mid-term response. Senegalese sole seemed to respond positively in terms of adaptive mechanisms, with a rapid over-expression of grs and hsps in liver and brain, significantly higher after one hour post stress, denoting the fast and acute response of those tissues to a rapid change on temperature. The ratio hsp90/gr also increased 24 h after thermal shock, ratio proposed to be an adaptive mechanism to prevent proteosomal degradation of GR. As a mid-term response, the elevation of brain crfbp gene expression one week after thermal shock could be an adaptive mechanism of negative feedback on HPI axis. Taken together, these data suggested an initial up-regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor complex linked genes in response to a temperature increase in Senegalese sole, with heat shock protein 90 potentially being a regulatory factor for the glucocorticoid receptor in the presence of cortisol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-185
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Corticotrophin-releasing factor
  • Corticotrophin-releasing factor binding proteins
  • Cortisol
  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Heat shock protein
  • Proopiomelanocortin
  • Temperature


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