Endocrine factors regulate food intake and growth, two interlinked physiological processes critical for the proper development of organisms. Somatic growth is mainly regulated by growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I and IGF-II) that act on target tissues, including muscle, and bones. Peptidyl hormones produced from the brain and peripheral tissues regulate feeding to meet metabolic demands. The GH-IGF system and hormones regulating appetite are regulated by both internal (indicating the metabolic status of the organism) and external (environmental) signals. Among the external signals, the most notable are diet availability and diet composition. Macronutrients and micronutrients act on several hormone-producing tissues to regulate the synthesis and secretion of appetite-regulating hormones and hormones of the GH-IGF system, eventually modulating growth and food intake. A comprehensive understanding of how nutrients regulate hormones is essential to design diet formulations that better modulate endogenous factors for the benefit of aquaculture to increase yield. This review will discuss the current knowledge on nutritional regulation of hormones modulating growth and food intake in fish.
Keywords: aquaculture; fish; food intake; growth; nutrients.