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Plasma Nesfatin-1 is not Affected by Long-term Food Restriction and does not Predict Rematuration Among Iteroparous Female Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Oct 9, 2019


The metabolic peptide hormone nesfatin-1 has been linked to the reproductive axis in fishes. The purpose of this study was to determine how energy availability after spawning affects plasma levels of nesfatin-1, the metabolic peptide hormone ghrelin, and sex steroid hormones in rematuring female rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). To limit reproductive maturation, a group of female trout was food-restricted after spawning and compared with a control group that was fed a standard broodstock ration. The experiment was conducted twice, once using two-year-old trout (second-time spawners) and once using three-year-old trout (third-time spawners). During monthly sampling, blood was collected from all fish, and a subset of fish from each treatment was sacrificed for pituitaries. Pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone-beta (fsh-β) mRNA expression was analyzed with q-RT-PCR; plasma hormone levels were quantified by radioimmunoassay (17β-estradiol and ghrelin) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (11-keto-testosterone and nesfatin-1). Although plasma nesfatin-1 levels increased significantly in the months immediately after spawning within both feeding treatments, plasma nesfatin-1 did not differ significantly between the two treatments at any point. Similarly, plasma ghrelin levels did not differ significantly between the two treatments at any point. Food restriction arrested ovarian development by 15–20 weeks after spawning, shown by significantly lower plasma E2 levels among restricted-ration fish. Pituitary fsh-β mRNA levels were higher among control-ration fish than restricted-ration fish starting at 20 weeks, but did not differ significantly between treatment groups until 30 weeks after spawning. Within both treatment groups, plasma 11-KT was elevated immediately after spawning and rapidly decreased to and persisted at low levels; starting between 20 and 25 weeks after spawning, plasma 11-KT was higher among control-ration fish than restricted-ration fish. The results from these experiments do not provide support for plasma nesfatin-1 as a signal for the initiation of reproductive development in rematuring female rainbow trout.


Lucius Caldwell, Andrew Pierce, Larry Riley, Christine Duncan, and James Nagler


Caldwell, L.K., A.L. Pierce, L.G. Riley, C.A. Duncan, and J.J. Nagler. 2014. Plasma Nesfatin-1 is not affected by long-term food restriction and does not predict rematuration among iteroparous female Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). PLoS ONE 9(1):1-9. Online at



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Journal Article