Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 4, pp 797–809 | Cite as

Metabolic and molecular stress responses of the gilthead seabream Sparus aurata during long-term exposure to increasing temperatures

  • Konstantinos Feidantsis
  • Hans O. Pörtner
  • Antigoni Lazou
  • Basile Kostoglou
  • Basile MichaelidisEmail author
Original Paper


Tolerance to a changing climate regime and persistence in the natural environment depends on the limited capacity to acclimate to changing temperatures. The present study aimed to identify and characterize thermal limits of the Mediterranean fish Sparus aurata as well as the processes providing heat protection during exposure to high temperatures. Processes studied included heat shock protein expression, protein kinase activity and metabolic adjustments. Molecular responses were addressed through the expression of Hsp70 and Hsp90 and the phosphorylation of stress-activated protein kinases, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and cJun-N-terminal kinases (JNKs). Thermal impacts on metabolic capacities were assessed by studying the maximum activities of citrate synthase (CS), malate dehydrogenase (MDH) and 3-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase (HOAD) as well as pyruvate kinase (PK) and lactate dehydrogenase (L-LDH). The expression of Hsp70 and hsp90 was activated when the fish were exposed to temperatures beyond 20°C. Increased phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and JNKs indicated the parallel activation of MAPK signaling cascades and the potential involvement of MAPKs in the induction of Hsp genes. Exposure to extreme temperatures beyond 24°C caused an increase in the enzymatic activity of PK and LDH indicating an enhanced glycolytic potential.


Pyruvate Kinase Malate Dehydrogenase White Muscle Thermal Tolerance Pyruvate Kinase Activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos Feidantsis
    • 1
  • Hans O. Pörtner
    • 2
  • Antigoni Lazou
    • 1
  • Basile Kostoglou
    • 1
  • Basile Michaelidis
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences, School of BiologyUniversity of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar-und Meeresforschung, Physiologie mariner TiereBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, School of BiologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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