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Age-associated liver alterations in wild populations of Austrolebias minuano, a short-lived Neotropical annual killifish

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Aging processes have become an attractive field for researchers and annual fish have been used as biological models. However, the study on the changes in age-associated markers during the normal aging in wild populations of annual fish remains open. Austrolebias is a genus of Neotropical annual killifishes, distributed mainly in ephemeral pools across grassland floodplains of temperate South America and represent an emerging biological model for aging research, but studies investigating rapid aging and senescence in this genus of annual fish are almost non-existent. This study was undertaken to examine the changes in age-associated liver markers at the different developmental stages in wild populations of Austrolebias minuano. We demonstrate that A. minuano has a number of liver alterations of different severities throughout the life cycle, suggesting that these changes tend to increase with age. Our results revealed that > 70% of the analyzed livers presented alterations. Thus, our study should instigate new approaches on aging using Neotropical annual fish, and could be useful to improve the knowledge already provided by consecrated biological aging models as e.g. Nothobranchius killifishes.

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The authors are grateful to private landowners for granting access to their properties, Lagoa do Peixe National Park administration for granting research permits and ICMBio for obtaining the license. The authors also thank Marlon Ferraz for providing the map of the study area. The annual killifish collections complied with current Brazilian law (SISBIO 43251-1) and the histological procedures were authorized by the PUCRS Ethic Committee (CEUA PUCRS 8271).

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Correspondence to Leonardo Maltchik.

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Godoy, R.S., Lanés, L.E.K., Weber, V. et al. Age-associated liver alterations in wild populations of Austrolebias minuano, a short-lived Neotropical annual killifish. Biogerontology 20, 687–698 (2019).

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  • Annual fish
  • Neoplasia
  • Steatosis
  • Temporary ponds
  • Liver diseases