Feeding entrainment of locomotor activity rhythms, digestive enzymes and neuroendocrine factors in goldfish

Physiol Behav. 2007 Feb 28;90(2-3):518-24. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.10.017. Epub 2006 Dec 28.


The existence of food anticipatory activity (FAA) in animals subjected to daily feeding schedules seems to be mediated by a feeding-entrainable oscillator (FEO). Such an FEO may help in anticipating meal time and so optimizing food acquisition and nutrient utilization. In this study we investigated the existence of FAA and whether digestive enzymes, plasma cortisol, hypothalamic NPY and gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and plasma melatonin were entrained by periodic feeding in goldfish. We observed that periodically fed goldfish showed FAA in locomotor activity as well as in amylase and NPY. Alkaline protease and GIT melatonin were higher after feeding, whereas plasma cortisol levels were reduced. Plasma melatonin remained unmodified before and after meal time. These results suggested that scheduled feeding entrained both behavioral and certain physiological patterns in goldfish, FAA being of adaptive value to anticipate a meal and prepare the digestive physiology of fish.

MeSH terms

  • Activity Cycles / physiology*
  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Goldfish / physiology*
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Melatonin / blood
  • Melatonin / metabolism*
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Time Factors


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Amylases
  • Endopeptidases
  • alkaline protease
  • Melatonin
  • Hydrocortisone