Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 773–787 | Cite as

Effects of postprandial starvation on mRNA expression of endocrine-, amino acid and peptide transporter-, and metabolic enzyme-related genes in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

  • Juan Tian
  • Gen He
  • Kangsen Mai
  • Chengdong Liu


The goal of this study was to systematically evaluate the molecular activities of endocrine-, amino acid and peptide transporters-, and metabolic enzyme-related genes in 35-day-old mixed-sex zebrafish (Danio rerio) after feeding . Zebrafish with initial body weights ranging from 9 to 11 mg were fasted for 384 h in a controlled indoor environment. Fish were sampled at 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192, and 384 h after fed. Overall, the present study results show that the regulatory mechanism that insulin-like growth factor I negative feedback regulated growth hormone is conserved in zebrafish, as it is in mammals, but that regulation of growth hormone receptors is highly intricate. Leptin and cholecystokinin are time-dependent negative feedback signals, and neuropeptide Y may be an important positive neuropeptide for food intake in zebrafish. The amino acid/carnitine transporters B0,+ (ATB0,+) and broad neutral (0) amino acid transporter 1(B0AT1) mRNA levels measured in our study suggest that protein may be utilized during 24–96 h of fasting in zebrafish. Glutamine synthetase mRNA levels were downregulated, and glutamate dehydrogenase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate transaminase, and trypsin mRNA levels were upregulated after longtime fasting in this study. The mRNA expression levels of fatty acid synthetase decreased significantly (P < 0.05), whereas those of lipoprotein lipase rapidly increased after 96 h of fasting. Fasting activated the expression of glucose synthesis genes when fasting for short periods of time; when fasting is prolonged, the mRNA levels of glucose breakdown enzymes and pentose phosphate shunt genes decreased.


Postprandial starvation Transporters Metabolic enzymes Zebrafish 



We thank Chun Ren, Jin-ping Wu, Hong-wei Liang, Zhong Li, and Gui-Wei Zou for providing essential facilities and help during the qRT-PCR analysis and Yun Li, Jian-feng Zhou, and Yun-zhang Liu for help during feeding trial. This research was supported by the National Scientific Foundation of China grant (31172416) to G.H. and National Key Basic Research Program of China (2014CB138602) to K.M.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Tian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gen He
    • 1
  • Kangsen Mai
    • 1
  • Chengdong Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Aquaculture Nutrition (Ministry of Agriculture)Ocean University of ChinaQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, Yangtze River Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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