Table_1_Arginine Vasotocin and Cortisol Co-regulate Vasotocinergic, Isotocinergic, Stress, and Thyroid Pathways in the Gilthead Sea Bream (Sparus aurata).DOCX

In teleosts, a complex interaction between several endocrine axes modulates physiological functions related to metabolism, stress, and osmoregulation. Although many studies in fish underline the interconnection between the hypothalamic–pituitary–interrenal (HPI) and hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid (HPT) endocrine axes, their relationship with the vasotocinergic and isotocinergic systems remains unknown. The aim of the present study is therefore to shed light on the potential cross-regulations between HPT, HPI, and the vasotocinergic and isotocinergic axes in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) at hypothalamic, hypophyseal, and plasma levels. Sea breams were administered with intraperitoneal slow-release implants containing different doses of vasotocin (the active peptide in vasotocinergic system) or cortisol (the last component of HPI axis). Plasma osmolality was higher in active neuropeptides vasotocin (Avt)-treated fish, indicating an osmoregulatory function of this hormone. Low concentrations of Avt increased hypothalamic arginine vasotocin precursor (avt) mRNA levels and increased Avt storage in the pituitary. Avt treatment down-regulated hypothalamic arginine vasotocin receptor v1a-type (avtrv1a), suggesting a negative paracrine co-regulation of the HPI axis due to the close location of avtrv1a and adrenocorticotropin hormone (Acth) cells in the anterior pituitary. Furthermore, the up-regulation observed in arginine vasotocin receptor v2-type (avtrv2) suggests their involvement in metabolic and cortisol-related pathways in the hypothalamus. The decrease in isotocin (It) pituitary storage and the up-regulation of it receptor, observed in the Avt-treated group, reinforce the idea of an interconnection between the vasotocinergic and isotocinergic systems. Cortisol and Avt administration each inhibited the HPI axis, down-regulating crh gene expression in the absence of variations in corticotropin releasing hormone binding protein (crhbp). Finally, both hormonal treatments activated the HPT axis via up-regulation of trh and down-regulation of thrb. Our results provide evidence for strong interactions among the Avt/It, HPI, and HPT axes of marine teleosts, particularly at the hypothalamic level.