Coping styles in European sea bass: The link between boldness, stress response and neurogenesis

Sébastien Alfonso*, Bastien Sadoul, Manuel Gesto, Lucette Joassard, Béatrice Chatain, Benjamin Geffroy, Marie-Laure Bégout

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Coping styles consist of a coherent set of individual physiological and behavioral differences in stress responses that are consistent across time and context. Such consistent inter-individual differences in behavior have already been shown in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), but the associated mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we combine physiological measurements with individual behavioral responses in order to characterize coping styles in fish. Fish were tagged and placed in a tank for group risk-taking tests (GRT) at 8 months of age to evaluate boldness using the proxy latency of leaving a sheltered area towards an open area. A subsample of these fish were individually challenged 16 months later using an open field test (OFT), in which the boldness was assessed after being placed in a shelter within an open arena. Latency to exit the shelter, time spent in the shelter, and distance travelled were recorded for this purpose. The blood and brain were then collected to evaluate plasma cortisol concentration and neurotransmitter levels (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and related metabolites), as well as brain transcription of key genes involved in stress axis regulation (gr1, gr2, mr, crf), neurogenesis (neurod1, neurod2, pcna), and neuronal development (egr1). Fish acting bolder in the GRT were not necessarily those acting bolder in the OFT, highlighting the relatively low consistency across different types of tests performed with a 16-months interval. There was, however, a significant correlation between stress markers and boldness. Indeed, mRNA levels of mr, crf, gr2, egr1, and neurod2, as well as norepinephrine levels were higher in shy than bold fish, whereas brain serotonergic activity was lower in shy fish. Overall, our study highlights the fact that boldness was not consistent over time when testing context differed (group vs. alone). This is in agreement with previous literature suggesting that social context play a key role in boldness measurement and that the particular life history of each individual may account in shaping the personality fate of a fish.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiology & Behavior
Volume207
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages35
ISSN0031-9384
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Personality
  • HPI axis
  • Gene transcription
  • Neurotransmitters

Cite this

Alfonso, Sébastien ; Sadoul, Bastien ; Gesto, Manuel ; Joassard, Lucette ; Chatain, Béatrice ; Geffroy, Benjamin ; Bégout, Marie-Laure. / Coping styles in European sea bass: The link between boldness, stress response and neurogenesis. In: Physiology & Behavior. 2019 ; Vol. 207. pp. 76-85.
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abstract = "Coping styles consist of a coherent set of individual physiological and behavioral differences in stress responses that are consistent across time and context. Such consistent inter-individual differences in behavior have already been shown in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), but the associated mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we combine physiological measurements with individual behavioral responses in order to characterize coping styles in fish. Fish were tagged and placed in a tank for group risk-taking tests (GRT) at 8 months of age to evaluate boldness using the proxy latency of leaving a sheltered area towards an open area. A subsample of these fish were individually challenged 16 months later using an open field test (OFT), in which the boldness was assessed after being placed in a shelter within an open arena. Latency to exit the shelter, time spent in the shelter, and distance travelled were recorded for this purpose. The blood and brain were then collected to evaluate plasma cortisol concentration and neurotransmitter levels (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and related metabolites), as well as brain transcription of key genes involved in stress axis regulation (gr1, gr2, mr, crf), neurogenesis (neurod1, neurod2, pcna), and neuronal development (egr1). Fish acting bolder in the GRT were not necessarily those acting bolder in the OFT, highlighting the relatively low consistency across different types of tests performed with a 16-months interval. There was, however, a significant correlation between stress markers and boldness. Indeed, mRNA levels of mr, crf, gr2, egr1, and neurod2, as well as norepinephrine levels were higher in shy than bold fish, whereas brain serotonergic activity was lower in shy fish. Overall, our study highlights the fact that boldness was not consistent over time when testing context differed (group vs. alone). This is in agreement with previous literature suggesting that social context play a key role in boldness measurement and that the particular life history of each individual may account in shaping the personality fate of a fish.",
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Coping styles in European sea bass: The link between boldness, stress response and neurogenesis. / Alfonso, Sébastien; Sadoul, Bastien; Gesto, Manuel; Joassard, Lucette; Chatain, Béatrice; Geffroy, Benjamin ; Bégout, Marie-Laure.

In: Physiology & Behavior, Vol. 207, 2019, p. 76-85.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Coping styles in European sea bass: The link between boldness, stress response and neurogenesis

AU - Alfonso, Sébastien

AU - Sadoul, Bastien

AU - Gesto, Manuel

AU - Joassard, Lucette

AU - Chatain, Béatrice

AU - Geffroy, Benjamin

AU - Bégout, Marie-Laure

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Coping styles consist of a coherent set of individual physiological and behavioral differences in stress responses that are consistent across time and context. Such consistent inter-individual differences in behavior have already been shown in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), but the associated mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we combine physiological measurements with individual behavioral responses in order to characterize coping styles in fish. Fish were tagged and placed in a tank for group risk-taking tests (GRT) at 8 months of age to evaluate boldness using the proxy latency of leaving a sheltered area towards an open area. A subsample of these fish were individually challenged 16 months later using an open field test (OFT), in which the boldness was assessed after being placed in a shelter within an open arena. Latency to exit the shelter, time spent in the shelter, and distance travelled were recorded for this purpose. The blood and brain were then collected to evaluate plasma cortisol concentration and neurotransmitter levels (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and related metabolites), as well as brain transcription of key genes involved in stress axis regulation (gr1, gr2, mr, crf), neurogenesis (neurod1, neurod2, pcna), and neuronal development (egr1). Fish acting bolder in the GRT were not necessarily those acting bolder in the OFT, highlighting the relatively low consistency across different types of tests performed with a 16-months interval. There was, however, a significant correlation between stress markers and boldness. Indeed, mRNA levels of mr, crf, gr2, egr1, and neurod2, as well as norepinephrine levels were higher in shy than bold fish, whereas brain serotonergic activity was lower in shy fish. Overall, our study highlights the fact that boldness was not consistent over time when testing context differed (group vs. alone). This is in agreement with previous literature suggesting that social context play a key role in boldness measurement and that the particular life history of each individual may account in shaping the personality fate of a fish.

AB - Coping styles consist of a coherent set of individual physiological and behavioral differences in stress responses that are consistent across time and context. Such consistent inter-individual differences in behavior have already been shown in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), but the associated mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we combine physiological measurements with individual behavioral responses in order to characterize coping styles in fish. Fish were tagged and placed in a tank for group risk-taking tests (GRT) at 8 months of age to evaluate boldness using the proxy latency of leaving a sheltered area towards an open area. A subsample of these fish were individually challenged 16 months later using an open field test (OFT), in which the boldness was assessed after being placed in a shelter within an open arena. Latency to exit the shelter, time spent in the shelter, and distance travelled were recorded for this purpose. The blood and brain were then collected to evaluate plasma cortisol concentration and neurotransmitter levels (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and related metabolites), as well as brain transcription of key genes involved in stress axis regulation (gr1, gr2, mr, crf), neurogenesis (neurod1, neurod2, pcna), and neuronal development (egr1). Fish acting bolder in the GRT were not necessarily those acting bolder in the OFT, highlighting the relatively low consistency across different types of tests performed with a 16-months interval. There was, however, a significant correlation between stress markers and boldness. Indeed, mRNA levels of mr, crf, gr2, egr1, and neurod2, as well as norepinephrine levels were higher in shy than bold fish, whereas brain serotonergic activity was lower in shy fish. Overall, our study highlights the fact that boldness was not consistent over time when testing context differed (group vs. alone). This is in agreement with previous literature suggesting that social context play a key role in boldness measurement and that the particular life history of each individual may account in shaping the personality fate of a fish.

KW - Personality

KW - HPI axis

KW - Gene transcription

KW - Neurotransmitters

U2 - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.04.020

DO - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.04.020

M3 - Journal article

VL - 207

SP - 76

EP - 85

JO - Physiology & Behavior

JF - Physiology & Behavior

SN - 0031-9384

ER -