DOI: 10.1007/s12640-017-9706-0 Pages: 578-589

Orexin-A Rescues Chronic Copper-Dependent Behavioral and HSP90 Transcriptional Alterations in the Ornate Wrasse Brain

1. University of Calabria, Comparative Neuroanatomy Laboratory, Biology, Ecology and Earth Science Department (DiBEST)

Correspondence to:
Rosa Maria Facciolo
Tel: +39 0984 492974



Recently, orexin (ORX)ergic system has gained great attention for its major neuroregulatory role on fish motor, circadian, feeding activities and above all during water toxic conditions. Fish are particularly sensitive to acute sublethal copper (Cu) concentrations while little is known about neurobehavioral data after chronic Cu exposure. For this work, the marine teleost ornate wrasse (Thalassoma pavo) was monitored for 21 days during exposure to a relatively low CuCl2 concentration (0.25 mg/l). In particular, at 1 day fish displayed moderate reductions (−32%) of feeding behaviors versus controls that decreased up to −94% at 21 days. Swimming activities were also moderately (−44%) reduced at 1 day, which diminished even further (~ −75%) from 7 to 21 days. The lethargic attitudes seemed to be frequently interrupted by aquatic surface respiration and abnormal motor behaviors such as rapid and abrupt changes of direction. Contextually, an upregulatory trend of HSP90 mRNAs occurred especially in the lateral part of the dorsal telencephalon (Dl; +72%), medial preglomerular nucleus (NPGm; +87%), and torus longitudinalis (TLo; +108%). Moreover, some of these nuclei displayed extensive argyrophilic signals that are typical of notable neurodegenerative events. Interestingly, a single intraperitoneal administration of ORX-A (10 ng/g of body weight) at 21 days attenuated not only some behavioral impairments but also HSP90 mRNA levels and neurodegenerative events. Behavioral indications of the present results tend to underlie the valuable role of HSP90 transcript together with the ORXergic system as probable rescuing factors operating in marine fish during persistent adverse environmental states with eventual bearings on human health issues.

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  • Accepted: Jan 24, 2017
  • Online: Feb 10, 2017
  • Revised: Jan 16, 2017

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