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Plasma leptin and growth hormone levels in the fine flounder (Paralichthys adspersus) increase gradually during fasting and decline rapidly after refeeding

Journal article
Authors E. N. Fuentes
Peter Kling
Ingibjörg Einarsdottir
M. Alvarez
J. A. Valdes
A. Molina
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
Published in General and Comparative Endocrinology
Volume 177
Issue 1
Pages 120-127
ISSN 0016-6480
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 120-127
Language en
Keywords Nutritional status, Teleost, Flatfish, Metabolism, Growth, Leptin, Growth hormone, salmon oncorhynchus-kisutch, expression pattern, chilean flounder, skeletal-muscle, rainbow-trout, food-intake, insulin, receptor, endocrinology, starvation
Subject categories Zoology


In fish, recent studies have indicated an anorexigenic role of leptin and thus its possible involvement in regulation of energy balance and growth. In the present study, the effects of fasting and refeeding periods on plasma leptin levels were studied in the fine flounder, a flatfish with remarkably slow growth. To further assess the endocrine status of the fish during periods of catabolism and anabolism, plasma growth hormone (GH) levels were also analyzed. Under normal feeding condition, plasma leptin and CH levels remained stable and relatively high in comparison with other teleost species. For the three separate groups of fish, fasted for 2, 3, and 4 weeks, respectively, plasma leptin levels increase gradually, becoming significantly elevated after 3 weeks, and reaching highest levels after 4-week fasting. Plasma GH levels were significantly elevated after 2-week fasting. At the onset of refeeding, following a single meal, leptin levels decline rapidly to lower than initial levels within 2 h, irrespective of the length of fasting. Plasma GH also decline, the decrease being significant after 4, 24 and 2 h for the 2, 3 and 4-week fasted groups, respectively. This study shows that plasma leptin levels in the fine flounder are strongly linked to nutritional status and suggests that leptin secretion is regulated by fast-acting mechanisms. Elevated leptin levels in fasted fish may contribute to a passive survival strategy of species which experience natural food shortage periods by lowering appetite and limiting physical foraging activity. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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