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Stress responses of the fish Nile tilapia subjected to electroshock and social stressors
Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
Plasma cortisol and glucose levels were measured in 36 adult Nile tilapia males, Oreochromis niloticus (standard length, mean ± SD, 14.38 ± 1.31 cm), subjected to electroshock and social stressors. Pre-stressor levels were determined 5 days after the adjustment of the fish to the experimental aquaria (1 fish/aquarium). Five days later, the effects of stressors on both cortisol and glucose levels were assessed. The following stressors were imposed for 60 min: pairing with a larger resident animal (social stressor), or a gentle electroshock (AC, 20 V, 15 mA, 100 Hz for 1 min every 4 min). Each stressor was tested in two independent groups, one in which stress was quantified immediately after the end of the 60-min stressor imposition (T60) and the other in which stress was quantified 30 min later (T90). Pre-stressor values for cortisol and glucose were not statistically different between groups. Plasma cortisol levels increased significantly and were of similar magnitude for both electroshock and the social stressor (mean ± SD for basal and final samples were: electroshock T60 = 65.47 ± 15.3, 177.0 ± 30.3; T90 = 54.8 ± 16.0, 196.2 ± 57.8; social stress T60 = 47.1 ± 9.0, 187.6 ± 61.7; T90 = 41.6 ± 8.1, 112.3 ± 26.8, respectively). Plasma glucose levels increased significantly for electroshock at both time points (T60 and T90), but only at T90 for the social stressor. Initial and final mean (± SD) values are: electroshock T60 = 52.5 ± 9.2, 115.0 ± 15.7; T90 = 35.5 ± 1.1, 146.3 ± 13.3; social stress T60 = 54.8 ± 8.8, 84.4 ± 15.0; T90 = 34.5 ± 5.6, 116.3 ± 13.6, respectively. Therefore, electroshock induced an increase in glucose more rapidly than did the social stressor. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation between cortisol and glucose was detected only at T90 for the social stressor. These results indicate that a fish species responds differently to different stressors, thus suggesting specificity of fish stress response to a stressor.
Issue Date: 
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica, v. 39, n. 12, p. 1605-1612, 2006.
Time Duration: 
Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica (ABRADIC)
  • Stress
  • Aggression
  • Agonistic behavior
  • Fighting
  • Social stress
  • Electroshock
Access Rights: 
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Appears in Collections:Artigos, TCCs, Teses e Dissertações da Unesp

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