Metabolic and molecular responses in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus during short and prolonged hypoxia

Magdy E. Mahfouz, Mona M. Hegazi, Mohammed A. El-Magd, Enas A. Kasem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The strictly aquatic breathing Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus is an extremely hypoxia-tolerant fish. To augment our understanding of the effects of hypoxia on anaerobic glycolysis in the Nile tilapia, we studied the effect of short-term for 1 day (trial 1) and long-term for 30 days (trial 2) hypoxia on a selected glycolytic enzymes activity and mRNA expression in liver and white muscle. The hypoxic oxygen concentrations used in the two trials were 2, 1, and 0.5 mg O2 L−1 for comparison with a control normoxic group 8 mg O2 L−1. The activity of phosphofructokinase (PFK), pyruvate kinase (PK), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in liver and white muscle except liver LDH decreased in trial 1 and increased in trial 2. Assessments of mRNA levels in trial 1 revealed that PFK was downregulated and LDH was upregulated in liver and white muscle, while PK fluctuated between upregulation in liver and downregulation in white muscle. Meanwhile, PK and LDH were upregulated while PFK was similar to control values in both tissues in trial 2. Comet assay results demonstrated an increase in DNA damage that was directly proportional to increasing hypoxic concentrations. This damage was more pronounced in trial 1. This suggests that the Nile tilapia cope better with long-term hypoxic conditions, possibly as an adaptive response.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-340
Number of pages22
JournalMarine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015
Externally publishedYes


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