Revisiting redox-active antioxidant defenses in response to hypoxic challenge in both hypoxia-tolerant and hypoxia-sensitive fish species

Fish Physiol Biochem. 2014 Feb;40(1):183-91. doi: 10.1007/s10695-013-9835-1. Epub 2013 Aug 2.


It is not known whether changes in antioxidant levels always occur in fish in response to the oxidative stress that usually accompanies a hypoxic challenge. The studies of antioxidant responses to hypoxia in fish have mostly focused on very anoxia-tolerant species and indicate that there is an enhancement of antioxidant defenses. Here we present new data on redox-active antioxidants from three species, which range in their tolerance to hypoxia: the epaulette shark, threespine stickleback, and rainbow trout, together with a compilation of results from other studies that have measured oxidative stress parameters in hypoxia-exposed fish. The results suggest that in general, fish do not show an increase in redox-active antioxidant defense in response to oxidative stress associated with hypoxia. Rather, the changes in antioxidant defenses during hypoxia are very much species- and tissue-specific and are not linked to the level of hypoxia tolerance of the fish species.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Reductase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Hypoxia / enzymology
  • Hypoxia / metabolism*
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Random Allocation
  • Sharks / metabolism*
  • Smegmamorpha / metabolism*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione Transferase