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Charlottenlund, Denmark

Vindas M.A.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Sorensen C.,University of Oslo | Johansen I.B.,University of Oslo | Folkedal O.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Comparative studies are imperative for understanding the evolution of adaptive neurobiological processes such as neural plasticity, cognition, and emotion. Previously we have reported that prolonged omission of expected rewards (OER, or 'frustrative nonreward') causes increased aggression in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Here we report changes in brain monoaminergic activity and relative abundance of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and dopamine receptor mRNA transcripts in the same paradigm. Groups of fish were initially conditioned to associate a flashing light with feeding. Subsequently, the expected food reward was delayed for 30 minutes during two out of three meals per day in the OER treatment, while the previously established routine was maintained in control groups. After 8 days there was no effect of OER on baseline brain stem serotonin (5-HT) or dopamine (DA) activity. Subsequent exposure to acute confinement stress led to increased plasma cortisol and elevated turnover of brain stem DA and 5-HT in all animals. The DA response was potentiated and DA receptor 1 (D1) mRNA abundance was reduced in the OER-exposed fish, indicating a sensitization of the DA system. In addition OER suppressed abundance of BDNF in the telencephalon of non-stressed fish. Regardless of OER treatment, a strong positive correlation between BDNF and D1 mRNA abundance was seen in non-stressed fish. This correlation was disrupted by acute stress, and replaced by a negative correlation between BDNF abundance and plasma cortisol concentration. These observations indicate a conserved link between DA, neurotrophin regulation, and corticosteroid-signaling pathways. The results also emphasize how fish models can be important tools in the study of neural plasticity and responsiveness to environmental unpredictability. © 2014 Vindas et al.

Ruiz-Gomez M.D.L.,University of Glasgow | Ruiz-Gomez M.D.L.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Huntingford F.A.,University of Glasgow | Overli O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2011

An extensive literature has documented differences in the way individual animals cope with environmental challenges and stressors. Two broad patterns of individual variability in behavioural and physiological stress responses are described as the proactive and reactive stress coping styles. In addition to variability in the stress response, contrasting coping styles may encompass a general difference in behavioural flexibility as opposed to routine formation in response to more subtle environmental changes and non-threatening novelties. In the present study two different manipulations, relocating food from a previously learned location, and introducing a novel object yielded contrasting responses in rainbow trout selected for high (HR) and low (LR) post stress plasma cortisol levels. No difference was seen in the rate of learning the original food location; however, proactive LR fish were markedly slower than reactive HR fish in altering their food seeking behaviour in response to relocated food. In contrast, LR fish largely ignored a novel object which disrupted feeding in HR fish. Hence, it appears that the two lines appraise environmental cues differently. This observation suggests that differences in responsiveness to environmental change are an integral component of heritable stress coping styles, which in this particular case, had opposite effects on foraging efficiency in different situations. Context dependent fitness effects may thus explain the persistence of stable divergence of this evolutionary widespread trait complex. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Krogdahl A.,Aquaculture Protein Center | Hillestad M.,BioMar AS | Winberg S.,Uppsala University | Skjerve E.,Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics | Hoglund E.,Danish Institute for Fisheries Research
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2013

The brain monoamines serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) and dopamine (DA) both play an integrative role in behavioural and neuroendocrine responses to challenges, and comparative models suggest common mechanisms for dietary modulation of transmission by these signal substances in vertebrates. Previous studies in teleosts demonstrate that 7 d of dietary administration with l-tryptophan (Trp), the direct precursor of 5-HT, suppresses the endocrine stress response. The present study investigated how long the suppressive effects of a Trp-enriched feed regimen, at doses corresponding to two, three or four times the Trp levels in commercial feed, last in juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) when the fish are reintroduced to a diet with standard amino acid composition. We also wanted to determine whether Trp supplementation induced changes in brain monoaminergic neurochemistry in those forebrain structures innervated by DA-and 5-HTergic neurons, by measuring regional activity of DA and 5-HT in the lateral pallial regions (Dl) of the telencephalon and nucleus lateralis tuberis (NLT) of the hypothalamus. Dietary Trp resulted in a dose-dependent suppression in plasma cortisol among fish exposed to confinement stress on the first day following experimental diet; however, such an effect was not observed at 2 or 6 d after Trp treatment. Feeding the fish with moderate Trp doses also evoked a general increase in DA and 5-HT-ergic activity, suggesting that these neural circuits within the NLT and Dl may be indirectly involved in regulating the acute stress response. © 2012 The Authors.

Anderwald P.,Durham University | Anderwald P.,University College Cork | Danielsdottir A.K.,Matis Skulagata 4 | Haug T.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | And 5 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

The minke whale is the last of the great whale species to be hunted in significant numbers. Effective management must include an understanding of how genetic diversity is divided and distributed among putative local populations, and as for many migratory species, this is complicated for the minke whale by large-scale seasonal movement among geographic regions. The problem is that the geographic identity of breeding populations is not known, and instead these whales are predictably found and hunted where different breeding stocks may mix on seasonal feeding grounds. Here we use microsatellite DNA and mtDNA markers to investigate minke whale population structure across the species' range in the North Atlantic. We found no evidence of geographic structure comparing putative populations in recognized management areas, though some limited structure had been indicated in earlier studies. However, using individual genotypes and likelihood assignment methods, we identified two putative cryptic stocks distributed across the North Atlantic in similar proportions in different regions. Some differences in the proportional representation of these populations may explain some of the apparent differentiation between regions detected previously. The implication would be that minke whales range extensively across the North Atlantic seasonally, but segregate to some extent on at least two breeding grounds. This means that established stock boundaries in the North Atlantic, currently used for management, should be re-considered to ensure the effective conservation of genetic diversity. © 2011.

Vindas M.A.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Vindas M.A.,University of Oslo | Johansen I.B.,University of Oslo | Vela-Avitua S.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

Animals use aggressive behaviour to gain access to resources, and individuals adjust their behaviour relative to resource value and own resource holding potential (RHP). Normally, smaller individuals have inferior fighting abilities compared with larger conspecifics. Affective and cognitive processes can alter contest dynamics, but the interaction between such effects and that of differing RHPs has not been adjudged. We investigated effects of omission of expected reward (OER) on competing individuals with contrasting RHPs. Small and large rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were conditioned to associate a light with reward. Thereafter, the reward was omitted for half of the fish prior to a contest between individuals possessing a 36-40% difference in RHP. Small control individuals displayed submissive behaviour and virtually no aggression. By contrast, small OER individuals were more aggressive, and twoout of 11 became socially dominant. Increased aggression insmall OER individuals was accompanied by increased serotonin levels in the dorsomedial pallium (proposed amygdala homologue), but no changes in limbic dopamine neurochemistry were observed in OER-exposed individuals. The behavioural and physiological response to OER in fish indicates that frustration is an evolutionarily conserved affective state. Moreover, our results indicate that aggressive motivation to reward unpredictability affects low RHP individuals strongest. © 2014 The Author(s).

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