Contrasting seasonal modulation of the stress response in male and female rainbow trout

Pottinger, T.G.; Carrick, T.R.. 2000 Contrasting seasonal modulation of the stress response in male and female rainbow trout. Journal of Fish Biology, 56 (3). 667-675.

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Between June and September the magnitude of the plasma cortisol response of maturing male and female rainbow trout to confinement was indistinguishable. A progressive increase in confinement-induced cortisol levels in both sexes occurred during the period May to September, associated with the seasonal rise in water temperature. Between September and January there was a more than 50% reduction in the magnitude of the cortisol response to confinement in male fish which coincided with declining water temperature and significant increases in plasma 11-ketotestosterone and elevated plasma testosterone levels. In contrast, female trout showed no evidence of a decline in cortisol responsiveness to confinement during the period September to January. Plasma estradiol-17β levels were significantly greater in females than males throughout the study period and this difference was maximal between September and January. However, plasma testosterone was also elevated in females during this period and levels overall were higher than those in male fish. Previous studies have shown estradiol-17β and testosterone to have diametrically opposed effects on stress responsiveness in trout, with the former enhancing, and the latter suppressing, the cortisol response to a stressor. The relative roles of androgens, estrogen and water temperature in modulating the stress responsiveness of rainbow trout is discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0022-1112
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: NOTICE: The attached document is the author’s final manuscript version of the journal article, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer review process. Some differences between this and the publisher’s version remain. You are advised to consult the publisher’s version if you wish to cite from this article. The definitive version is available at
Additional Keywords: stress, cortisol, androgen, estrogen, rainbow trout, sexual maturity, 11-ketotestosterone, estradiol, Oncorhynchus mykiss
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 06 Jul 2015 11:02 +0 (UTC)

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