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Arginine-vasotocin influence on aggressive behaviour and dominance in rainbow trout
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, Comparative Physiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
2009 (English)In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 96, no 3, 470-475 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The mammalian neuropeptide arginine-vasopressin (AVP) and its non-mammalian homologue arginine-vasotocin (AVT) are involved in social behavior including aggression in vertebrates. Juvenile rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) are highly territorial and we tested the effect of two different doses each of AVT and Manning compound, an AVP V1A receptor antagonist, on aggressive behavior and the outcome of staged fights for social dominance in size matched pairs. Each pair consisted of one fish receiving AVT or Manning compound through an intracerebroventricular (icv) injection and one fish receiving a similar icv injection of saline. In addition, plasma cortisol and brain serotonergic activity were monitored. Fish receiving AVT at a dose of 200 ng became subordinate whereas AVT at a dose of 20 ng had no effect on the outcome of fights for social dominance. Further, Manning compound had no effect on the outcome of fights for dominance but at a dose of 200 ng it had an effect on fight duration. Fish receiving 200 ng Manning compound and losing dyadic fights appeared to take longer to become subordinate. Neither AVT nor Manning compound had any effects on plasma cortisol levels or brainstem serotonergic activity. The apparent inhibiting effect of AVT on aggression could be centrally mediated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 96, no 3, 470-475 p.
Keyword [en]
Aggressive behavior, Arginine-vasopressin (AVP), Arginine-vasotocin (AVT), Cortisol, Dominance/subordinance, Dyadic interaction, Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), Social system, Teleost fish
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96794DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.11.013ISI: 000263659800012PubMedID: 19087884OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96794DiVA: diva2:171487
Available from: 2008-02-21 Created: 2008-02-21 Last updated: 2010-12-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Roles of Arginine-Vasotocin and Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone in Stress Responses and Agonistic Behaviour of Rainbow Trout
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Roles of Arginine-Vasotocin and Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone in Stress Responses and Agonistic Behaviour of Rainbow Trout
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The neuropeptides arginine-vasotocin (AVT) and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) are involved in the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal (HPI) axis. During stress, the HPI axis is activated and cortisol is released into the blood. In addition to their role in the HPI axis, AVT and CRH also have behavioural effects. The roles of AVT and CRH in stress responses and agonistic behaviour were studied in this thesis, using two different models.

In the first model, two strains of rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) divergent in stress-induced release of cortisol were investigated. This was done by observing behaviour and stress responses under different conditions. These strains were found to have divergent stress coping strategies based on the observed behaviour and levels of plasma cortisol. This divergence in behaviour could be associated with the CRH system, since the mRNA levels of CRH differed between the strains during stress. However, no differences between strains were observed in AVT or its receptor expressions.

In the second model, non-selected rainbow trout were paired and the effect of intracerebroventricular (icv) injections of an active substance (AVT, CRH or the CRH related peptide Urotensin-I (UI)) on fights for dominance was investigated. One fish of the pair received the active substance icv and the other received saline icv. Fish receiving AVT became subordinate in accordance with the suggestion that AVT attenuates aggression in territorial vertebrates. Fish receiving CRH became subordinate whereas UI showed no effect on fights for dominance. Further, both CRH and UI induced an anxiety-related behaviour similar to non-ambulatory motor activity in rats. In addition, CRH appeared to affect the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems.

In this thesis, it is suggested that CRH is involved in the behavioural modulation of the stress coping strategies in teleost fish. Further, AVT and CRH seem to act inhibitory on aggressive behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008. 64 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 397
Zoophysiology, arginine-vasotocin (AVT), corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), stress, stress coping, behaviour, rainbow trout, Zoofysiologi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8485 (URN)978-91-554-7105-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-03-19, Lindahlssalen, Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum, Norbyvägen 18A, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-02-21 Created: 2008-02-21 Last updated: 2009-04-05Bibliographically approved

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