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The impact of temperature on the metabolome and endocrine metabolic signals in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Journal article
Authors Andreas Kullgren
Fredrik Jutfelt
Ramon Fontanillas
Kristina Sundell
Linda Samuelsson
Kerstin Wiklander
Peter Kling
Wolfgang Koppe
D. G. Joakim Larsson
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
Elisabeth Jönsson
Published in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A
Volume 164
Issue 1
Pages 44-53
ISSN 1095-6433
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Statistics
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 44-53
Language en
Keywords Fish condition factor endocrinology growth NMR metabolomics metabolism temperature
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Zoology, Animal physiology


The aim was to elucidate the effects of elevated temperature on growth performance, growth- and appetite-regulating hormones and metabolism in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar. Post-smolts in seawater (average mass 175 g) that had been reared at 12 °C were kept at three temperatures (8, 12 and 18 °C) and sampled after one and three months. After three months, the fish kept in 18 °C had decreased growth rate and condition factor, and elevated plasma levels of growth hormone (GH) and leptin, compared with fish kept at the lower temperatures. Food conversion efficiency was also decreased at 18 °C, while at the same time protein uptake was improved and thus was not a limiting mechanism for growth. Redistribution of energy stores in fish at the highest temperature is evident as a preference of maintaining length growth during times of limited energy availability. NMR-based metabolomics analyses of plasma revealed that several metabolites involved in energy metabolism were negatively affected by temperature in the upper temperature range of Atlantic salmon. Specifically, the high temperature induced a decline of several amino acids (glutamine, tyrosine and phenylalanine) and a shift in lipid metabolism. It appears likely that the decreased food intake at the highest temperature is linked to an anorexigenic function of leptin, but also that the decreased food intake, feed conversion efficiency and condition factor can be linked to changes in GH endocrinology.

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