Ichthyological Research

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 9–16 | Cite as

Effects of exogenous cortisol and seawater adaptation on thyroid hormone receptors in the smolt stage of the sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka

  • Hyun Suk Shin
  • Young Jae Choi
  • Na Na Kim
  • Jehee Lee
  • Hiroshi Ueda
  • Cheol Young ChoiEmail author
Full Paper


The objective of this investigation was to quantify how thyroid hormone receptors of the sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka, respond to salinity changes from freshwater (FW) to seawater (SW) conditions. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) mRNA and protein expressions levels significantly increased when the fish were transferred from FW to SW, and the plasma T3 and T4 levels were significantly highest at 50 % SW and then maintained as control. Moreover, these parameters were significantly lower in the cortisol-injected groups than in the control. Hence, TRs, T3, and T4 may play a role in SW adaptation, when the fish migrate from FW to SW environments. We showed a negative correlation between cortisol and thyroid hormone levels, and a significant increase in plasma K+ levels in the kidney when the fish were transferred to SW, with levels being significantly lower in the cortisol-injected group. Hence, cortisol appears to be a stress hormone, and the plasma Na+ and Cl- levels significantly increased when the fish were transferred to SW, with levels being significantly lower in the cortisol-injected group. These results indicate that cortisol modulates ion transportation in the plasma.


Cortisol Sockeye salmon Salinity Thyroid hormone receptor 



This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2011-0007095), and by the MSIP (Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning), Korea, under the ITRC (Information Technology Research Center) support program supervised by the NIPA (National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA-2013-H0301-13-2009).


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun Suk Shin
    • 1
  • Young Jae Choi
    • 1
  • Na Na Kim
    • 1
  • Jehee Lee
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Ueda
    • 3
  • Cheol Young Choi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Marine Environment & BioscienceKorea Maritime and Ocean UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Marine Life SciencesJeju National UniversityJeju Special Self-Governing ProvinceRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere and Division of Biosphere ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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