Interactive Effects of Thermal and Salinity Stress Cause Cell Cycle Arrest in the Nile Tilapia.

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FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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The goal of this study was to test the interactive effects of sub-lethal thermal stress and environmental salinity variation on a tropical freshwater species, the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. This economically important species is vulnerable to increased morbidity at low temperatures, a condition sometimes termed "Winter Stress Syndrome". It is possible that in addition to extreme weather events, saltwater intrusion into freshwater systems presents physiological challenges to this species. To test this hypothesis, Nile tilapia were exposed to a variety of treatments (two temperatures: 21°C & 14°C, three salinities: 0ppt, 16ppt, 34ppt) for 1-h. Following exposures, flow cytometry was used to assess cell cycle staging in the spleen and liver. Specifically, we were testing the synergistic effects of temperature and salinity stress on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, both metrics of sub-lethal stress and a switch away from growth and towards stress responses. Both liver and spleen responded to temperature and salinity stress by inducing cell cycle arrest in a tissue-specific manner. Apoptosis was also detected in the spleen. These findings support our hypothesis that the combination of thermal and salinity stress have deleterious impacts on the health of this important global source of protein.





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