Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 205, Issue 2, pp 203–210 | Cite as

Effect of the algal alkaloid caulerpin on neuropeptide Y (NPY) expression in the central nervous system (CNS) of Diplodus sargus

  • Laura MagliozziEmail author
  • Valeria Maselli
  • Frederico Almada
  • Anna Di Cosmo
  • Ernesto Mollo
  • Gianluca PoleseEmail author
Original Paper


Recent studies have suggested that Mediterranean indigenous fish species are affected by bioactive metabolites coming from marine invasive species via food web interactions. In particular, both physiological and behavioural changes in the white sea bream Diplodus sargus were related to caulerpin (CAU), a bisindolic alkaloid particularly abundant in the invasive alga Caulerpa cylindracea, on which the fish actively feed. Dietary administration of CAU decreased aggressiveness in D. sargus, suggesting an anxiolytic-like effect of CAU possibly mediated by endogenous anxiolytic agents. This hypothesis is supported here by the finding of a significant increase of NPY transcriptional expression in the brain of fish fed with CAU enriched food, shedding more light on the neural mechanisms behind the altered behaviour of D. sargus.


NPY Caulerpin Biological invasions Caulerpa cylindracea Diplodus sargus 



This study was funded by Regione Campania (BIO/02LAU/2015/POR Campania), and the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia—FCT (partially FEDER funded), now included in MARE (UID/MAR/04292/2013) (MARE/ISPA-IU). This work was also supported by a MARE/ISPA-IU project aiming for the biological monitoring of the Marine Protected Area of Avencas, financed by the Environmental Municipal Company of Cascais (Cascais Ambiente). The authors would like to thank António Roleira at MARE/ISPA-IU fish facility and Pedro Coelho, Diana Vieira, Ruxanda Lungu, Ana Coelho, José Neto and all volunteers for collecting wild fish in central west Portugal. This study was performed in accordance with the recommendations of the Animal Care and Use Committee of ISPA-Instituto Universtário, and undertaken under the supervision of an accredited expert in laboratory animal science (following FELASA category C recommendations). Permission for capturing fish at the field site was granted by the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA) and by local authorities (Cascais Environmental Agency—Cascais Ambiente—and Coast Guard—Capitania de Cascais).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.MARE, Marine and Environmental Sciences CentreISPA, Instituto UniversitárioLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Istituto di Chimica BiomolecolareConsiglio Nazionale delle RicercheNaplesItaly

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