Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 956–972 | Cite as

Stocking density affects the growth performance and metabolism of Amur sturgeon by regulating expression of genes in the GH/IGF axis

  • Yuanyuan Ren (任源远)
  • Haishen Wen (温海深)Email author
  • Yun Li (李昀)
  • Jifang Li (李吉方)


The effects of stocking density on the growth and metabolism of Amur sturgeon were assessed. Amur sturgeon were grown for 70 days at three different stocking densities (low stocking density, LSD: 5.5 kg/m3; medium stocking density, MSD: 8.0 kg/m3; and high stocking density, HSD: 11.0 kg/m3 ), and the biometric index, muscle composition, and serum biochemical parameters were evaluated. In addition, pituitary, liver, and muscle samples were collected for gene cloning and expression analyses. After 70 days of growth, the fish maintained at HSD had significantly lower final body weight and specific growth rate, and a higher feed conversion ratio than those of the fish in the MSD and LSD groups. The HSD group had the lowest lipid and protein concentrations in serum and muscle. The serum cortisol concentration increased significantly in the HSD group, indicating that the stress-response system was activated in these fish. There was no change in the concentration of serum insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2), while the concentrations of serum growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) decreased in the HSD group. The full-length cDNAs of GH and IGF-2 genes (995-bp and 1 207-bp long, respectively), were cloned and analyzed. In the HSD group, the expressions of GH in the pituitary and growth hormone receptor (GHR) and IGF-1 in the liver were down-regulated at the end of the 70-day experiment. In the HSD group, the transcript level of IGF-2 significantly decreased in the liver, but did not change in muscle. Overall, our results indicated that a HSD negatively affects the growth performance and leads to changes in lipid and protein metabolism in Amur sturgeon. The down-regulated expression of genes related to the GH/IGF axis may be responsible for the poor growth performance of Amur sturgeon under crowding stress.


Amur sturgeon stocking density growth metabolism growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis 


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The authors thank the Shandong Xunlong Fisheries Farm for providing the fish and the experimental site.


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuanyuan Ren (任源远)
    • 1
  • Haishen Wen (温海深)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yun Li (李昀)
    • 1
  • Jifang Li (李吉方)
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mariculture (Ocean University of China)Ministry of EducationQingdaoChina

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