Stress and fish reproduction: The roles of allostasis and hormesis

General and Comparative Endocrinology



This paper is a review of the effects of stress on reproduction in fishes. I hope to further the development of the concepts of allostasis and hormesis as relevant to understanding reproduction in general and in fish in particular. The main contentions I derive in this review are the following: Stressors affect fish reproduction in a variety of ways depending on the nature and severity of the stressor. The effects are transduced through a hormonal cascade initiated by perception of the stressor and involving the hypothalamus-pituitary-interrenal axis, the catecholamines, and also cytokines. Mounting a stress response and resisting a stressor is an energetically costly process, including costs associated with allostasis, attempting to reset homeostatic norms. Responses in emergency situations (e.g., being chased by a predator or a net) can be different from those where fish can cope (e.g., being in a more crowded environment) with a stressor, but both situations involve energy re-budgeting. Emergency responses happen in concert with the onset of energy limitations (e.g., the fish may not eat), while coping with allostatic overload can happen in a more energy-rich environment (e.g., the fish can continue to eat). Low levels of stress may have a positive effect on reproductive processes while greater stress has negative effects on fish reproduction. The concept of hormesis is a useful way to think about the effect of stressors on fish reproduction since responses can be nonmonotonal, often biphasic.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Stress and fish reproduction: The roles of allostasis and hormesis
Series title General and Comparative Endocrinology
DOI 10.1016/j.ygcen.2009.07.004
Volume 165
Issue 3
Year Published 2010
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title General and Comparative Endocrinology
First page 549
Last page 556
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