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Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 Dec;142(4):426-31. Epub 2005 Oct 28.

Food-deprivation induces HSP70 and HSP90 protein expression in larval gilthead sea bream and rainbow trout.

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Dpto. Biología Aplicada. E.P.S., Univ. Almería, Spain.


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) expression is commonly used as indicators of cellular stress in animals. However, very little is known about either the expression patterns of HSPs or their role in the stress-tolerance phenomenon in early life stages of fish. To this end, we examined the impact of food-deprivation (12 h), reduced oxygen levels (3.5 mg/L for 1 h) and heat shock (HS: +5 degrees C for 1 h) on HSP70 and HSP90 protein expression in early life stages of the gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata), a warm-water aquaculture species. Also, we investigated HSP70 and HSP90 response to food-deprivation (7 days) in early life stages of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), a cool-water aquaculture species, and the tolerance of this larvae to heat shock (either +5 or +10 degrees C for 1 h). Our results clearly demonstrate that food-deprivation enhances HSP70 and HSP90 protein expression in larvae of both species. In gilthead sea bream larvae, the stressors-induced HSP70 and HSP90 (only in the reduced oxygen group) protein expression returned to unstressed levels after 24 h recovery. In fed trout larvae, a +5 degrees C heat shock did not elevate HSP70 and HSP90 expression, whereas 100% mortality was evident with a +10 degrees C HS. However, food-deprived trout larvae, which had higher HSP70 and HSP90 protein content, survived HS and showed HS-dependent increases in HSP70, but not HSP90 expression. Overall, HSP70 and HSP90 protein expression in early life stages of fish have the potential to be used as markers of nutritional stress, while elevation of the tissue HSPs content may be used as a means to increase stress tolerance during larval rearing.

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