Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 955–964 | Cite as

Abrupt salinity stress induces oxidative stress via the Nrf2-Keap1 signaling pathway in large yellow croaker Pseudosciaena crocea

  • Lin Zeng
  • Chun-Xiang Ai
  • Yong-Hong Wang
  • Jian-She Zhang
  • Chang-Wen WuEmail author


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of abrupt salinity stress (12, 26 (control), and 40) on lipid peroxidation, activities and mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes (Cu/Zn-SOD, CAT, GPx, and GR), and gene expression of the Nrf2-Keap1 signaling molecules at different times (6, 12, 24, and 48 h) in the liver of large yellow croaker Pseudosciaena crocea. The results showed that lipid peroxidation was sharply reduced at 6 h and increased at 12 h before returning to control levels in the hypo-salinity group. Similarly, lipid peroxidation was significantly decreased at 6 h followed by a sharp increase towards the end of the exposure in the hyper-salinity group. Negative relationships between lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme activities and positive relationships between activities and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes were observed, suggesting that the changes at molecular levels and enzyme activity levels may provide protective roles against damage from salinity stress. Obtained results also showed a coordinated transcriptional regulation of antioxidant genes, suggesting that Nrf2 is required for regulating these genes. Furthermore, there was a positive relationship between the mRNA levels of Nrf2 and Keap1, indicating that Keap1 plays an important role in switching off the Nrf2 response. In conclusion, this is the first study to elucidate effects of salinity stress on antioxidant responses in large yellow croaker through the Keap1–Nrf2 pathway.


Salinity stress Antioxidant enzyme Nrf2–Keap1 Pseudosciaena crocea 



Lipid peroxidation


Superoxide dismutase




Glutathione peroxidase


Glutathione reductase




NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2


Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1



This work was supported by the Scientific Research Foundation of Zhejiang Ocean University (22115010415) and National Project of Scientific and Technical Supproting Programs funded by the Ministry of Science & Technology of China (No.2011BAD13B08). The authors thank the Yuyang Fisheries Co. Ltd. for supporting large yellow croaker.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lin Zeng
    • 1
  • Chun-Xiang Ai
    • 2
  • Yong-Hong Wang
    • 1
  • Jian-She Zhang
    • 1
  • Chang-Wen Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.National Engineering Research Center for Marine AquacultureZhejiang Ocean UniversityZhoushanChina
  2. 2.College of Ocean and Earth SciencesXiamen UniversityXiamenChina

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