Circadian rhythm is emerging as an important regulator of immune functions. However, there is a paucity of information on the influence of this biological phenomenon in the antimicrobial factors in teleost fish. This study investigated the dynamics and interplay of serum-mediated bacterial killing activity and immune defence factors throughout the light:dark (LD) cycle in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The juvenile fish came from two different emergence time fractions (i.e., late and early) that were believed to exhibit behavioural and physiological differences. Serum collected during the day from fish (mean ± SD: 39.8 ± 6.3 g) reared under 14L:10D photoperiod demonstrated bactericidal activity against Flavobacterium psychrophilum, Yersinia ruckeri and Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida of varying magnitude, but no significant differences between the emergence fractions were observed. A day-night comparison in the same batch of fish revealed time-of-day dependence in the bactericidal activity against F. psychrophilum and Y. ruckeri amongst emergence fractions. A group of fish (63.3 ± 4.7 g) from each fraction was entrained to 12L:12D photoperiod for 21 days to investigate whether serum bactericidal activity exhibit daily rhythm. Serum-mediated bacterial killing activity against F. psychrophilum and Y. ruckeri displayed significant daily rhythm in both emergence fractions, where the peak of activity was identified during the light phase. Moreover, several serum defence factors manifested variations during the LD cycle, where anti-protease (ANTI) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activities exhibited significant daily oscillation. However, there were no remarkable differences in the daily changes of serum factors amongst emergence fractions. Acrophase analysis revealed that the peaks of activity of alkaline phosphatase (only in late fraction), ANTI, lysozyme (only in early fraction) and MPO were identified during the light phase and corresponded with the period when serum-mediated bacterial killing activity was also at its highest. The daily dynamics of bactericidal activity and immune defence factors displayed positive correlation, particularly between MPO and, the two pathogens (i.e., F. pyschrophilum and Y. ruckeri). Taken together, the study revealed that serum-mediated bacterial killing activity and immune defence factors remarkably varied during the LD cycle in rainbow trout. In addition, the two emergence fractions displayed nearly comparable immunological profiles.
- Circadian rhythm
- Stress-coping style