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Exposure to critical thermal maxima increases oxidative stress in hearts of white- but not red-blooded Antarctic notothenioid fishes.

TitleExposure to critical thermal maxima increases oxidative stress in hearts of white- but not red-blooded Antarctic notothenioid fishes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMueller, IA, Devor, DP, Grim, JM, Beers, JM, Crockett, EL, O'Brien, KM
JournalJ Exp Biol
IssuePt 20
Date Published2012 Oct 15
KeywordsAnimals, Antarctic Regions, Antioxidants, Catalase, Fish Proteins, Heart Ventricles, Hot Temperature, Mitochondria, Heart, Oxidation-Reduction, Oxidative Stress, Pectoralis Muscles, Peptide Elongation Factor 1, Perciformes, Reactive Oxygen Species, Superoxide Dismutase

Antarctic icefishes have a significantly lower critical thermal maximum (CT(max)) compared with most red-blooded notothenioid fishes. We hypothesized that the lower thermal tolerance of icefishes compared with red-blooded notothenioids may stem from a greater vulnerability to oxidative stress as temperature increases. Oxidative muscles of icefishes have high volume densities of mitochondria, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can promote the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Moreover, icefishes have lower levels of antioxidants compared with red-blooded species. To test our hypothesis, we measured levels of oxidized proteins and lipids, and transcript levels and maximal activities of antioxidants in heart ventricle and oxidative pectoral adductor muscle of icefishes and red-blooded notothenioids held at 0°C and exposed to their CT(max). Levels of oxidized proteins and lipids increased in heart ventricle of some icefishes but not in red-blooded species in response to warming, and not in pectoral adductor muscle of any species. Thus, increases in oxidative damage in heart ventricles may contribute to the reduced thermal tolerance of icefishes. Despite an increase in oxidative damage in hearts of icefishes, neither transcript levels nor activities of antioxidants increased, nor did they increase in any tissue of any species in response to exposure to CT(max). Rather, transcript levels of the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) decreased in hearts of icefishes and the activity of SOD decreased in hearts of the red-blooded species Gobionotothen gibberifrons. These data suggest that notothenioids may have lost the ability to elevate levels of antioxidants in response to heat stress.

Alternate JournalJ. Exp. Biol.
PubMed ID22811244
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