Secretory proteins in the skin mucus of nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) are modulated temporally by photoperiod and bacterial endotoxin cues

Carlo Cabacang Lazado*, Peter Vilhelm Skov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Although it is well known that the biological and physical characteristics of skin mucus in fishes are strongly affected by changes in environmental conditions, the influence of photoperiod and time-dependent bacterial endotoxin stimulation is not well documented. In the present study, we determined the diel variations in the basal activities of secretory proteins with known defense functions in the skin mucus of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) maintained under two photic environments: equal length of day and night (12L:12D, LD) or total darkness (0L:24D, DD). A second experiment was conducted to determine how time-dependent (i.e., day versus night) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge could influence these skin mucosal defenses. The results revealed that LD signal differentially modulated the activities of mucosal immune molecules. Fish subjected to LD regime showed significantly higher levels of skin mucus lysozyme and protease at nighttime than at daytime. This distinct feature was not observed in fish under DD. There was no general mucosal response patterns to time-dependent LPS challenge. Nonetheless, protease and lysozyme, which were identified to be at elevated levels at night, were significantly modulated when the endotoxin was administered at nighttime. Ceruloplasmin was the only molecule that responded to LPS challenge at daytime, where its activity significantly increased at 8 h post-stimulation. Collectively, the results revealed that photoperiod cues influenced the activities of mucosal defenses and this may play, at least in part, in the temporal sensitivity to bacterial endotoxin.
Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Fish
  • Immune response
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Photoperiod
  • Skin mucus


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