Does the GH/IGF system mediate the effect of water temperature on fish growth? A review
In fish, as in all poikilotherms, growth is strongly dependent on water temperature. Given that the GH/IGF system regulates growth, it could mediate the effects of temperature on fish growth. Indeed, before hatching, the higher embryonic growth rate in rainbow trout at high temperatures is associated with higher expression of the IGF2 gene in the whole embryo. Furthermore, post-natal growth fluctuations depend on water temperature and are associated with variations of plasma GH and IGF1. Although seasonal parameters such as photoperiod and nutritional status can also affect GH/IGF system activity, it has been shown that an increased temperature led to a specific increase of plasma GH. Moreover, this increase of plasma GH leads to higher plasma IGF1 levels in correlation with the growth rate. By contrast, plasma IGF2 levels as well as muscular levels of IGF1 and IGF2 mRNA are not specifically modified by temperature. Thus, seasonal fluctuations of water temperature affect growth rate through a direct action on plasma GH and IGF1 levels. The mechanisms of this effect are not yet elucidated, but could arise from modifications of metabolite levels (glucose, amino acids, fatty acids, etc.), which regulate GH secretion directly or indirectly through somatostatin of pancreatic or hypothalamic origin.