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Effects of osmotic stress on Na+/K+-ATPase, caspase 3/7 activity, and the expression profiling of sirt1, hsf1, and hsp70 in the roughskin sculpin (Trachidermus fasciatus)


Osmoregulation mechanism underlying acclimation of migratory fish to different salinities has been a classical research topic for decades. In this study, the roughskin sculpin (Trachidermus fasciatus) were subjected to two different acute osmotic treatments (one extreme acute and one acute treatment, i.e., E-acute and acute group). Comparisons of branchial enzyme activity, as well as the time-course expression profiling of sirt1, hsf1, and hsp70 were performed to reveal changes at the physiological and molecular levels. As a result, the branchial Na+/K+-ATPase activity was significantly inhibited and the caspase 3/7 relating to apoptosis was significantly induced in the E-acute group; no significant difference of branchial enzyme activity was detected in the acute group. These results suggested that T. fasciatus could keep stable physiological levels when experiencing the acute salinity change but not under extreme osmotic stress. Significant variations of sirt1, hsf1, and hsp70 expression were determined in the four target tissues (gill, intestine, kidney, and liver). Similar profiling was detected between the time-course expression of sirt1 and hsf1, suggesting their association in the osmoregulation process. Tissue-specific gene expression patterns in all the three target genes showed that each tissue possesses its own gene expression pattern in response to salinity changes. The overall different expression profiling of sirt1, hsf1, and hsp70 under the extreme acute and acute osmotic treatments might respectively represent the molecular regulation of stress response and acclimation. The findings make it possible to provide more reliable data to decipher the mechanism of osmoregulation in migratory fish.

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The authors are very grateful to Tongyong Hatchery station (Qingdao, China) for their support in fish culture and sampling.


The research was financially supported by Qingdao Applied Basic Research Project under number 14-2-4-15-jch and National Natural Science Foundation of China under number 31772828.

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Correspondence to Zhimeng Zhuang.

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Ma, Q., Kuang, J., Liu, X. et al. Effects of osmotic stress on Na+/K+-ATPase, caspase 3/7 activity, and the expression profiling of sirt1, hsf1, and hsp70 in the roughskin sculpin (Trachidermus fasciatus). Fish Physiol Biochem 46, 135–144 (2020).

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  • Trachidermus fasciatus
  • Sirtuin1
  • Heat shock factor 1
  • Heat shock protein 70
  • Na+/K+-ATPase
  • Caspase 3/7
  • Salinity adaptation
  • Stress response