Effects of early rearing enrichments on modulation of brain monoamines and hypothalamic–pituitary–interrenal axis (HPI axis) of fish mahseer (Tor putitora)

  • Imdad UllahEmail author
  • Amina ZuberiEmail author
  • Humaira Rehman
  • Zulfiqar Ali
  • Per-Ove Thörnqvist
  • Svante Winberg


Enriching rearing environment is the strategy suggested for improving the post release survivorship of captive-reared animals. Here, an attempt has been made to evaluate the impact of early rearing enrichment on the hypothalamic–pituitary–interrenal axis (HPI axis), blood glucose, and brain dopaminergic and serotonergic systems of Tor putitora. Fifteen-day-old hatchlings of T. putitora were reared up to advanced fry stage in barren, semi-natural, and physically enriched environments and compared them with regard to pre-stress and post-stress levels of whole-body cortisol, blood glucose, brain serotonergic activity (5HIAA/5HT ratio), dopaminergic activity (DOPAC/DA and HVA/DA ratios) and norepinephrine (NE) levels. Significantly low basal whole-body cortisol, glucose and brain NE levels were observed in a physically enriched group of fish as compared to the other two groups. However, after acute stress, all rearing groups showed elevated levels of cortisol, blood glucose, brain 5HIAA/5HT, DOPAC/DA and HVA/DA ratios and NE levels but the magnitude of response was different among different rearing groups. The barren reared group showed a higher magnitude of response as compared to semi-natural and physically enriched groups. Similarly, the recovery rate of whole-body cortisol, blood glucose, and whole-brain monoamines were long-lasting in barren-reared mahseer. We illustrate that increased structural complexity (physical enrichment) during the early rearing significantly modulates various physiological and stress-coping mechanisms of mahseer.


Fish Stress response Cortisol Brain monoamines Enriched environment 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyAbbottabad University of Science and TechnologyAbbottabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Biological SciencesQuaid-I-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Neuroscience, Physiology, Uppsala Biomedical CentreUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Department of StatisticsQuaid-I-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan

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