• Environmental changes can affect feeding in fish.
• Increased temperatures turbulence and turbidity, and low pHs, affected food intake in goldfish.
• Environmental changes affected the expression of appetite regulators in goldfish.
• The study brings new insights on how fish might respond to climate changes.
Climate changes due to global warming result in part from the release of gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane into the atmosphere and results in warming and acidification of water bodies, and changes precipitation and wind patterns, which might in turn affect water currents, turbulence and turbidity. These changes might affect feeding and its endocrine control. Feeding is regulated by central and peripheral hormones that either stimulate (e.g. orexin, ghrelin) or inhibit (e.g. irisin, cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript – CART, cholecystokinin – CCK and peptide YY -PYY) food intake. In this study we examined the effects of four climate change-related environmental factors (i.e. temperature, pH, turbulence and turbidity) on food intake and the hypothalamic and intestinal expressions of appetite regulators in fish, using goldfish as a model. High temperatures increased food intake and the brain expression of orexin, and decrease brain CART 1 and intestinal CCK, PYY and ghrelin. Low pHs decreased feeding and increased the expressions of CART1 and CART2 in the hypothalamus and CCK and PYY in the intestine. Turbulence (waves) induced an increase in food intake and a decrease in mRNA expression levels of both CART1 and CART2 in the hypothalamus and both CCK and PYY in the intestine. Turbidity (low visibility) did not affect food intake but increased locomotion and the time taken to reach satiation, while increasing brain orexin and intestinal PYY expression levels and lowering CART1 hypothalamic expression. The results of this study suggest that environmental stress affects feeding physiology of goldfish and bring new insights on how fish might respond to climate changes.
Nadermann N., Seward R. K. & Volkoff H., 2019. Effects of potential climate change -induced environmental modifications on food intake and the expression of appetite regulators in goldfish. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 235: 138-147. Article (subscription required).