Modulation of the fish immune system by hormones

James Harris, David J. Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

260 Citations (Scopus)


Immune-neuroendocrine interactions in fish, as in mammals, have become a focus of considerable interest, with the modulation of immune responses by hormones receiving particular attention. Cortisol, growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), reproductive hormones, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptides have all been shown to influence immune functions in a number of fish species. This review summarises the known effects of these hormones on the fish immune system, as well as the often complex interactions between different hormones. The possible implications for fish health, with respect to aquaculture and the changes in immunocompetence that take place during different stages in the fish life cycle are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Fish immune system
  • Hormones
  • Neuroendocrine system
  • POMC
  • Stress

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