Biochemistry and biophysics reports

Induced thermal stress on serotonin levels in the blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus.

PMID 28955850


The temperature of habitat water has a drastic influence on the behavioral, physiological and biochemical mechanisms of crustaceans. Hyperglycemia is a typical response of many aquatic animals to harmful physical and chemical environmental changes. In crustaceans increased circulating crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) and hyperglycemia are reported to occur following exposure to several environmental stress. The biogenic amine, serotonin has been found to modulate the CHH levels and oxidation of serotonin into its metabolites is catalysed by monoamine oxidase. The blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus is a dominant intertidal species utilized throughout the indo-pacific region and is a particularly important species of Palk bay. It has high nutritional value and delicious taste and hence their requirements of capture and cultivation of this species are constantly increasing. This species experiences varying and increasing temperature levels as it resides in an higher intertidal zone of Thondi coast. The present study examines the effect of thermal stress on the levels of serotonin and crustacean hyperglycemic hormone in the hemolymph of P. pelagicus and analyzes the effect of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor, pargyline on serotonin and CHH level after thermal stress. The results showed increased levels of glucose, CHH and serotonin on exposure to 26 °C in control animals. Pargyline injected crabs showed highly significant increase in the levels of CHH and serotonin on every 2 °C increase or decrease in temperature. A greater CHH level of 268.86±2.87 fmol/ml and a greater serotonin level of 177.69±10.10 ng/ml was observed at 24 °C. This could be due to the effect of in maintaining the level of serotonin in the hemolymph and preventing its oxidation, which in turn induces hyperglycemia by releasing CHH into hemolymph. Thus, the study demonstrates the effect of thermal stress on the hemolymph metabolites studied and the role of pargyline in elevating the levels of serotonin and CHH on thermal stress in the blue swimmer crab, P. pelagicus.