Water cortisol is a reliable indicator of stress in European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax

TitleWater cortisol is a reliable indicator of stress in European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFanouraki, E, Papandroulakis N, Ellis T, Mylonas CC, Scott AP, Pavlidis M
JournalBehaviour
Volume145
Issue10
Pages1267 - 1281
KeywordsAcute stress, Confinement, European sea bass, Release rate, Water cortisol
Abstract

This study examined cortisol release into the water by European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax. The time-course of plasma and water cortisol concentrations were determined in adult fish subjected to acute stress, by sampling blood and water at 0 h (before stress) and 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8 and 24 h after stress. Sea bass showed a typical stress response, with plasma glucose and lactate concentrations peaking at 2 h, and plasma cortisol levels peaking at 1 h. Cortisol release rate into the water increased in response to stress and was positively correlated with plasma cortisol concentrations. In a further trial, juvenile fish were confined at densities of 20 and 50 kg/m 3 and water cortisol was evaluated over a 24 h period. Cortisol release rates peaked between 0-1 h in the high and 1-2 h in the low density group. In conclusion, these results provide strong evidence that cortisol release rate into the water can be used as a non-invasive method for the assessment of the stress response and that although sea bass presents a high blood stress response after exposure to acute husbandry stressors, it is releasing less cortisol into the water compared to other species previously examined. © 2008 Brill.

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