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Endocrine and metabolic responses to stress in a laboratory population of the tropical damselfish Acanthochromis polyacanthus

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The effects of confinement and exercise on the stress response of the spiny damselfish Acanthochromis polyacanthus were investigated in a laboratory stock of fish. Cultured spiny damselfish had basal plasma cortisol values (<16 ng ml−1) similar to those found in wild fish, and basal plasma glucose and lactate levels that were similar to those found in other teleosts. Plasma cortisol concentrations increased in response to stress with a latency period of 5–10 min. Removal of the stressor resulted in partial recovery of cortisol levels by 24 h. Plasma glucose levels increased in response to stress in all experiments with significant increases occurring within 15 min of the imposition of stress. Elevations in plasma glucose concentrations were not initially reflected in changes in liver or muscle glycogen content, with significant reductions in liver glycogen concentrations only occurring in response to extended periods of stress. In contrast to many temperate species, plasma lactate concentrations did not consistently increase in response to stress, suggesting that the stress response in spiny damselfish is not strongly characterized by anaerobiosis.
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Keywords: cortisol; glucose; glycogen; lactate; stress; tropical damselfish

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: School of Aquaculture, Tasmanian and Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1370, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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