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Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2001 Jun;129(2-3):695-701.

Stimulation of non-specific immune functions in seawater-acclimated rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, with reference to the role of growth hormone.

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Nikko Branch, National Research Institute of Aquaculture, Nikko, 321-1661, Tochigi, Japan.


The influence of acclimation to seawater (SW) and growth hormone (GH) administration on immune functions was examined in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). After 3 days acclimation to dilute SW (12 parts per thousand, ppt), an increase in plasma lysozyme activity was observed compared to the fish kept in fresh water (FW). No change was seen in plasma immunoglobulin M (IgM) levels. When they were transferred from dilute SW to full-strength SW (29 ppt) after a single intra-peritoneal injection of ovine or salmon GH, plasma sodium levels of GH-treated fish were significantly lower than those of the control fish injected with Ringer's solution 24 h after the transfer. The plasma level of IgM was not influenced by GH injection in the fish kept in FW nor in those transferred to SW. The administration of GH increased plasma lysozyme activity in the fish in FW, but no further increase was seen after SW transfer. The production of superoxide anions in peripheral blood leucocytes was stimulated by GH in both FW and SW. These results suggest that GH is involved in the stimulation of the non-specific immune functions in SW-acclimated salmonids.

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