Acute and prolonged stress responses of brain monoaminergic activity and plasma cortisol levels in rainbow trout are modified by PAHs (naphthalene, beta-naphthoflavone and benzo(a)pyrene) treatment

Manuel Gesto, Jose L. Soengas, Jesus M. Miguez

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We have investigated if treatment with two different PAHs such as naphthalene (NAP) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), and the PAH-like Compound beta-naphthoflavone (BNF), may modify the stress responses elicited in rainbow trout by acute or prolonged stress stimuli, and the possible involvement of brain monoamines in those responses. Two experiments (acute and prolonged stress) were performed. In the acute stress experiment, fish were i.p. injected with vegetable oil alone (control) or oil containing NAP, BNF or BaP (10 mg kg(-1)), and 72 It after injection fish were acutely stressed by chasing for 15 min. In the prolonged stress experiment, a similar group-design and injection protocol were followed, but fish were submitted to severe confinement stress by maintaining fish under high stock density (70 kg fish mass m(-3)) for 72 It. The levels of cortisol, glucose and lactate were assayed in plasma. In addition, the contents of dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA) and serotonin (5HT), as well as their oxidized amine metabolites, 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid (DOPAC) and 5-hydroxy-3-indoleacetic acid (5HIAA) were assayed in telencephalon, hypothalamus, preoptic region, optic tectum and brain stein, as well as the pituitary. Both acute and prolonged stress stimuli increased plasma levels of cortisol, which further increase with NAP and BNF treatments after acute stress. In contrast, cortisol levels of fish exposed to prolonged stress showed a clear tendency to decrease after the treatment with BNF and BaP. Stress stimuli also increased plasma glucose levels, which were not affected by PAHs in acute stressed fish but decreased in fish exposed to prolonged stress. Increased plasma levels of lactate in fish exposed to stress decreased after PAHs treatment in acute stress but not in prolonged stress. With respect to monoaminergic systems, major changes induced by both acute and prolonged stress were increases of the metabolites DOPAC and 5HIAA and DOPAC/DA or 5HIAA/5HT ratios in several brain regions. PAHs induced alterations in the normal responses of monoaminergic systems to stress, with dopaminergic system being the most affected after acute stress, and serotonergic system after prolonged stress. Those alterations, especially after prolonged stress, showed certain parallelism with alterations of plasma cortisol levels. Thus, results suggest that in stressed fish PAH effects on plasma cortisol levels (and its derived metabolic actions) could be in part mediated by alterations on the nionoaminergic systems at the CNS of rainbow trout. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)341-351
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • FISH
  • naphthalene
  • beta-naphthoflavone
  • benzo(a)pyrene
  • stress
  • brain monoamines
  • cortisol
  • rainbow trout
  • Animals
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Blood Glucose
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Lactic Acid
  • Naphthalenes
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Plant Oils
  • Population Density
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • beta-Naphthoflavone
  • sunflower seed oil
  • Naphthalene
  • β-Naphthoflavone
  • Stress
  • Brain monoamines
  • Cortisol
  • Rainbow trout
  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • 3,4 dihydroxyphenylacetic acid
  • 5 hydroxyindoleacetic acid
  • benzo[a]pyrene
  • beta naphthoflavone
  • dopamine
  • glucose
  • hydrocortisone
  • lactic acid
  • monoamine
  • noradrenalin
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
  • serotonin
  • vegetable oil
  • brain
  • PAH
  • pollution effect
  • pollution exposure
  • salmonid
  • stocking density
  • stress resistance
  • acute stress
  • animal experiment
  • animal tissue
  • article
  • brain stem
  • chronic stress
  • controlled study
  • glucose blood level
  • hydrocortisone blood level
  • hypophysis
  • hypothalamus
  • lactate blood level
  • nonhuman
  • optic tectum
  • preoptic area
  • priority journal
  • telencephalon

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