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Physiol Genomics. 2008 Nov 12;35(3):283-95. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.90213.2008. Epub 2008 Aug 26.

Effect of starvation on transcriptomes of brain and liver in adult female zebrafish (Danio rerio).

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences and Initiative for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies, University of Idaho, Moscow.


We used microarray and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses in adult female zebrafish (Danio rerio) to identify metabolic pathways regulated by starvation in the liver and brain. The transcriptome of whole zebrafish brain showed little response to 21 days of starvation. Only agouti-related protein 1 (agrp1) significantly responded, with increased expression in brains of starved fish. In contrast, a 21-day period of starvation significantly downregulated 466 and upregulated 108 transcripts in the liver, indicating an overall decrease in metabolic activity, reduced lipid metabolism, protein biosynthesis, proteolysis, and cellular respiration, and increased gluconeogenesis. Starvation also regulated expression of many components of the unfolded protein response, the first such report in a species other than yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and mice (Mus musculus). The response of the zebrafish hepatic transcriptome to starvation was strikingly similar to that of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and less similar to mouse, while the response of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) differed considerably from the other three species.

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