Differential effects of cortisol and 11- deoxycorticosterone on ion-transport protein mRNA levels in gills of two euryhaline teleosts, Mossambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) and striped bass (Morone saxatilis)

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P. Killerich; C.K. Tipsmark; R.J. Borski; S.S. Madsen

Type of Document:
Scholarly Article


Journal of Endocrinology

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
Not Available


Abstract: The role of cortisol as the only corticosteroid in fish osmoregulation has recently been challenged with the discovery of a mineralocorticoid-like hormone, 11-deoxycorticosterone (DOC), and necessitates new studies of the endocrinology of osmoregulation in fish. Using an in vitro gill explant incubation approach, DOC-mediated regulation of selected osmoregulatory target genes in the gill was investigated and compared with that of cortisol in two euryhaline teleosts, Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) and striped bass (Morone saxatilis). The effects were tested in gills from both fresh water (FW)- and seawater (SW)-acclimated fish. Both cortisol and DOC caused an up-regulation of the Na+,K+-ATPase ?1 subunit in SW-acclimated tilapia but had no effect in FW-acclimated fish. Cortisol conferred an increase in Na+,K+,2Cl? cotransporter (NKCC) isoform 1a transcript levels in FW- and SW-acclimated tilapia, whereas DOC had a stimulatory effect only in SW-acclimated fish. Cortisol had no effect on NKCC isoform 1b mRNA levels at both salinities, while DOC stimulated this isoform in SW-acclimated fish. In striped bass, cortisol conferred an up-regulation of Na+,K+-ATPase ?1 and NKCC transcript levels in FW- and SW-acclimated fish, whereas DOC resulted in down-regulation of these transcripts in FW-acclimated fish. It was also found that both corticosteroids may rapidly (30?min) alter the mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling pathway in gill, inducing phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) and ERK2 in a salinity-dependent manner. The study shows a disparate organisation of corticosteroid signalling mechanisms involved in ion regulation in the two species and adds new evidence to a role of DOC as a mineralocorticoid hormone in teleosts.

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