Arginine vasotocin treatment induces a stress response and exerts a potent anorexigenic effect in rainbow trout, oncorhynchus mykiss

Manuel Gesto, J. L. Soengas, A. Rodríguez-Illamola, J. M. Míguez

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The peptide arginine vasotocin (AVT), homologous to mammalian arginine vasopressin, is involved in many aspects of fish physiology, such as osmoregulation, regulation of biological rhythms, reproduction, metabolism or responses to stress, and the modulation of social behaviours. Because a decrease in appetite is a general response to stress in fish and other vertebrates, we investigated the role of AVT as a possible food intake regulator in fish. We used i.c.v. injections for central administration of AVT to rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). In a first experiment, we evaluated the temporal response of food intake after AVT treatment. In a second experiment, we investigated the effects of central AVT administration on the response of typical stress markers (plasma cortisol, glucose and lactate), as well as brain serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic activity. In addition, the mRNA levels of genes involved in food intake regulation [neuropetide Y, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF)] and in CRF- (CRF-binding protein) and AVT-signalling (pro-VT and AVT receptor), were also assessed after AVT treatment. Our results showed that AVT is a potent anorexigenic factor in fish. Increases of plasma cortisol and glucose after AVT treatment strongly suggest that AVT administration induced a stress response and that AVT action was mediated by hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal axis activation, which was also supported by the increase of the serotonergic activity in trout telencephalon and hypothalamus. The increased hypothalamic levels of POMC and CART suggest that these peptides might have a role in the anorexigenic action of AVT, whereas the involvement of CRF signalling is unclear. © 2014 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)89-99
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Arginine vasotocin
  • Fish
  • Food intake
  • Serotonin
  • Stress
  • arginine vasotocin
  • fish
  • food intake
  • serotonin
  • stress
  • Animals
  • Anorexia
  • Base Sequence
  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Blood Glucose
  • DNA Primers
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Lactic Acid
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vasotocin
  • anorexigenic effect
  • serotonergic activity
  • stress response
  • Pisces Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Chordates, Fish, Nonhuman Vertebrates, Vertebrates) - Osteichthyes [85206] Oncorhynchus mykiss species rainbow trout common
  • arginine vasotocin 113-80-4
  • AVT
  • AVT receptor
  • CART
  • corticotrophin-releasing factor
  • cortisol 50-23-7
  • CRF-binding protein
  • glucose 58367-01-4
  • lactate 113-21-3
  • mRNA regula
  • neuropetide Y
  • pro-opiomelanocortin 66796-54-1
  • pro-VT receptor
  • 10060, Biochemistry studies - General
  • 10067, Biochemistry studies - Sterols and steroids
  • 10068, Biochemistry studies - Carbohydrates
  • 15002, Blood - Blood and lymph studies
  • 15004, Blood - Blood cell studies
  • 17002, Endocrine - General
  • 17020, Endocrine - Neuroendocrinology
  • 20504, Nervous system - Physiology and biochemistry
  • Neural Coordination
  • hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal axis endocrine system, nervous system
  • plasma blood and lymphatics
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • Nervous System


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