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Open Access Research article

Use of microarray technology to assess the time course of liver stress response after confinement exposure in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata L.)

Josep A Calduch-Giner1, Grace Davey2, Alfonso Saera-Vila1, Benoit Houeix2, Anita Talbot2, Patrick Prunet3, Michael T Cairns2 and Jaume Pérez-Sánchez1*

Author affiliations

1 Fish Nutrition and Growth Endocrinology Group, Department of Biology, Culture and Pathology of Marine Fish Species, Institute of Aquaculture Torre de la Sal (CSIC), 12595 Ribera de Cabanes, Castellón, Spain

2 Martin Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

3 INRA-SCRIBE, Fish Adaptation and Stress Group, IFR Reproduction, Development and Ecophysiology, Rennes Cedex, France

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Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2010, 11:193  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-193

Published: 22 March 2010

Abstract

Background

Selection programs for growth and stress traits in cultured fish are fundamental to the improvement of aquaculture production. The gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) is the main aquacultured species in the Mediterranean area and there is considerable interest in the genetic improvement of this species. With the aim of increasing the genomic resources in gilthead sea bream and identifying genes and mechanisms underlying the physiology of the stress response, we developed a cDNA microarray for gilthead sea bream that is enriched by suppression substractive hybridization with stress and immunorelevant genes. This microarray is used to analyze the dynamics of gilthead sea bream liver expression profile after confinement exposure.

Results

Groups of confined and control juvenile fish were sampled at 6, 24, 72 and 120 h post exposure. GeneSpring analyses identified 202 annotated genes that appeared differentially expressed at least at one sampling time (P < 0.05). Gene expression results were validated by quantitative PCR of 10 target genes, and K-means clustering of differently expressed genes identified four major temporal gene expression profiles. Set 1 encompassed a rapid metabolic readjustment with enhanced uptake and intracellular transport of fatty acids as metabolic fuels. Set 2 was associated with a wide variety of tissue repair and remodeling processes that were mostly mediated by the stress response of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Sets 3 and 4 encompassed the re-establishment of cellular homeostasis with increased intracellular trafficking and scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS), accompanied by a bidirectional regulation of the immune system and a general decline of ROS production.

Conclusions

Collectively, these findings show the complex nature of the adaptive stress response with a clear indication that the ER is an important control point for homeostatic adjustments. The study also identifies metabolic pathways which could be analyzed in greater detail to provide new insights regarding the transcriptional regulation of the stress response in fish.