Previous studies have shown that food deprivation, which occurs naturally in the life cycle of many species of fish, results in cessation of growth and catabolism of stored energy reserves, including lipids. In this study, we used rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to identify the cellular mechanisms involved with this metabolic shift. Fish were placed on one of five dietary regimes-fed continuously for 2 or 4. weeks, fasted continuously for 2 or 4. weeks, or fasted 2. weeks then refed 2. weeks-and the effects on organismal growth and lipid catabolism and on the activation state of signaling elements (e.g., Akt, ERK, JAK-STAT, PKC) in selected tissues were measured. Fasting for either 2 or 4. weeks significantly retarded growth in terms of body weight, body length, and body condition; refeeding restored growth such that body length and body condition were similar to measures seen in continuously fed fish. Fasting activated lipid catabolism by stimulating the mRNA expression and catalytic activity of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). Two HSL-encoding mRNAs have been characterized, and the expression of both forms of mRNA in 2- and 4-week fasted fish were significantly elevated over levels in fed fish in all tissues. In adipose tissue, liver, and white muscle, HSL activity was significantly elevated in 2- and 4-week fasted fish compared to fed animals; whereas in red muscle, HSL activity was significantly elevated compared to fed fish after 4. weeks of fasting. Refeeding reversed both fasting-associated HSL mRNA expression and HSL activity. Fasting resulted in the deactivation of Akt, JAK2, and STAT5 in adipose tissue, liver, and red and white muscle. By contrast, fasting activated ERK and PKC in all tissues measured. Refeeding reversed fasting-associated alterations in the activation state of all signal elements. These findings suggest that deactivation of Akt and JAK-STAT in conjunction with activation of ERK and PKC underlie fasting-associated growth retardation and lipolysis.
- Nutritional state
- Signal transduction