Exploring the Effects of Acute Stress Exposure on Lumpfish Plasma and Liver Biomarkers

Tiago da Santa Lopes, Benjamin Costas, Lourenço Ramos-Pinto, Patrick Reynolds, Albert K.D. Imsland, Jorge M.O. Fernandes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to expand knowledge on lumpfish stress physiology by investigating the effects of acute stress on primary (i.e., cortisol) and secondary (e.g., metabolites) stress responses, as well as oxidative stress biomarkers, from stress exposure to a recovery phase. The results showed that the lumpfish physiological response to 1 min air exposure is mild, in line with recent studies, and comparable to that described for white sturgeons. Cortisol seems to be the most reliable acute stress biomarker in lumpfish, with a significant increase in plasma 30 min after stress exposure, returning to resting levels 2 h after exposure. In contrast, glucose and lactate were not significantly altered by short-term air exposure. Effects on hepatic energy mobilisation were also detected following the acute stress. This study showed that acute 1 min air exposure seems tolerable, allowing a swift recovery. However, more studies on the impacts of air exposure and repeated acute stressors on lumpfish stress and immune responses are required to develop industry standards for lumpfish health and welfare monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3623
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Other keywords

  • cleaner fish
  • health
  • lumpfish
  • salmon farming
  • stress
  • welfare


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