Effects of short-term thermal stress on the plasma biochemical profiles of two Antarctic nototheniid species
Thermal elevation records in the Austral Ocean have raised questions about the physiological impacts on Antarctic organisms which have evolved under cold and stable water temperatures. Some notothenioid fishes exhibit species-specific responses to elevated temperature, yet the mechanisms involved in restoring homeostasis are unclear. Our study focused on the physiological effects of short-term (2–144 h) exposure to water temperatures of 8 °C on the plasma biochemical profiles of Notothenia coriiceps and Notothenia rossii, species that are abundant in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula, a region where increasing temperatures have been detected. Despite being phylogenetically similar, these species responded differently to thermal stress. N. rossii showed no changes in cortisol levels, and transient hyperglycemia was likely triggered by elevated catecholamine levels; conversely, metabolic and antioxidant defense parameters were unaffected. Increased gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity was observed only in N. rossii after 24 h at 8 °C, which assists in maintaining ionic homeostasis. In N. coriiceps, cortisol accurately indicated thermal stress. Increased cortisol levels in N. coriiceps additionally resulted in transient secondary responses such as hyperglycemia and hyperlactemia, as well as reduced levels of total protein, globulins and triglycerides. Unlike in N. rossii, catalase activity in N. coriiceps was modulated at 8 °C, and this parameter is thus considered a good biomarker of thermal stress. Results suggest that N. coriiceps is more sensitive to thermal stress than is N. rossii and that the former is a potential bioindicator for Admiralty Bay.
KeywordsAdmiralty bay Antarctic fishes Biochemical bioindicators Metabolism Temperature
We are grateful to the following for their support: the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (MMA); the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI); the National Council for the Development of Scientific and Technological Research (CNPq); the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES); the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Commission for the Resources of the Sea (SeCIRM); and the Ethics Committee on Animal Experimentation of the Federal University of Paraná (process numbers, 496/2010 and 840/2014). The authors would like to thank Dr. Edith Susana Elisabeth Fanta (in memoriam) and Dr. Yocie Yoneshigue Valentin, coordinator of the National Institute of Antarctic Science and Technology of Environmental Research (INCT-APA), for providing help and encouragement during the execution of the present work. This study was supported by CAPES and CNPq through the projects CAPES/PNPD 2443/2011, CNPq 52.0125/2008-8, 30.5562/2009-6, 30.5969/2012-9, and INCT-APA (CNPq 574.018/2008-5, FAPERJ E-26/170.023/2008). We would like to thank the editor and reviewer for providing valuable comments and suggestions.
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was approved by the Ethics Committee on Animal Experimentation of the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) under applications number 496/2010 and 840/2014.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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