Regulation of the corticosteroid signalling system in rainbow trout HPI axis during confinement stress.

This study aims to shed light on corticosteroid regulation of stress in teleost fish with focus on the corticosteroid signalling system. The role of the mineralocorticoid-like hormone 11-deoxycorticosterone (DOC) in fish is still enigmatic, as is the function of the mineralocorticoid receptor, MR. Low plasma DOC levels and ubiquitous tissue distribution of MR question the physiological relevance of the mineralocorticoid-axis. Furthermore, the particular purpose of each of the three corticosteroid receptors in fish, the glucocorticoid receptors, GR1 and GR2, and the MR, is still largely unknown. Therefore we investigate the regulation of cortisol and DOC in plasma and mRNA levels of MR, GR1 and GR2 in the HPI-axis tissue (hypothalamus, pituitary and interrenal gland) during a detailed confinement stress time-course. Here we show a sustained up-regulation of plasma DOC levels during a confinement stress time-course. However, the low DOC levels compared to cortisol measured in the plasma do not favour an activity of DOC through MR receptors. Furthermore, we show differential contribution of the CRs in regulation and control of HPI axis activity following confinement stress. Judged by the variation of mRNA levels negative feedback regulation of cortisol release occurs on the level of the pituitary via MR and on the level of the interrenal gland via GR2. Finally, as a significant effect of confinement stress on CR expressions was observed in the pituitary gland, we completed this experiment by demonstrating that corticosteroid receptors (GR1, GR2 and MR) are co-expressed in the ACTH cells located in the adenohypophysis. Overall, these data suggest the involvement of these receptors in the regulation of the HPI axis activity by cortisol.


Stress, Rainbow trout, Confinement, Cortisol, DOC, MR, GR1, GR2, HPI-axis

Full Text

Author's final draft
3214 Mo
Publisher's official version
102 Mo
How to cite
Kiilerich Pia, Servili Arianna, Peron Sandrine, Valotaire Claudiane, Goardon Lionel, Leguen Isabelle, Prunet Patrick (2018). Regulation of the corticosteroid signalling system in rainbow trout HPI axis during confinement stress. General And Comparative Endocrinology. 258. 184-193.,

Copy this text