Author(s): Becker K, Makkar HP
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Abstract Carp (Cyprinus carpio L) were fed diets containing phorbol esters at concentrations of 0, 3.75, 7.5, 15, 31, 62.5, 125, 250, 500 and 1,000 micrograms/g feed. Phorbol esters were from Jatropha curcas nuts. Jatropha curcas toxicity has been reported in humans, rodents and livestock, and phorbol esters have been identified as the main toxic agent. The adverse effects observed in carp at phorbol esters concentrations of 31 micrograms/g or higher were lower average metabolic growth rate, fecal mucus production and rejection of feed. Average metabolic growth rates (g/kg 0.8/d) in a 7-d experimental period during which diets containing phorbol esters were fed to carp (values with different letters being significantly different) were 15.4a, 14.4a, 12.5ab, 12.4ab, 10.9b, 3.4c, 0.2c, -3.8d, -4.9d and -5.6d, respectively, at the above mentioned concentrations. The values for the recovery phase of 9-d during which phorbol esters were not included in the diet were 16.0a, 15.6a, 14.9a, 15.6a, 5.3b, 1.6b, 4.6bc, 6.3bc, 7.8c and 8.2c, respectively. The adverse effects of phorbol esters were reversible since withdrawal of the esters from the diets led to gain in body mass. None of the fish died at any of the concentrations studied. Incorporation of vitamin C, an antioxidant, at levels of 0.4 and 2\% in the feed did not prevent occurrence of the adverse effects of the phorbol esters. The threshold level at which phorbol esters appeared to cause adverse effects in carp was 15 micrograms/g feed or 15 ppm in the diet. Carp were highly sensitive to phorbol esters, thus making them a useful species for bioassay of these compounds. This bioassay together with other analytic procedures could be of immense use in the development of detoxification processes for agro-industrial products containing phorbol esters, such as jatropha meal or jatropha oil, and as a quality control method to monitor successive stages in industrial detoxification processes.
This article was published in Vet Hum Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development