Author(s): Montero D, Tort L, Robaina L, Vergara JM, Izquierdo MS
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Abstract This study investigates the effect of dietary vitamin E on juveniles of gilthead seabream under stressful situations, focusing on the effects on growth, haematology, some immune parameters and plasma cortisol as indicators of stress. Two sardine meal-based experimental diets, one of them supplemented with 150 mg of alpha tocopherol kg(-1) of diet (control) and another one without vitamin E supplementation (diet NE), were assayed under two different stress conditions: overcrowding as a chronic stressor (during 15 weeks) and repetitive chasing as an acute repetitive stressor. Low levels of vitamin E in the diet depleted alternative complement pathway activity [from 167.23 U ml(-1) (control fish) down to 100.99 U ml(-1)] and also nonspecific haemagglutination. Also, fish fed a non-supplemented diet showed an elevation of plasma cortisol basal levels without a stressor influence [from 3.91 ng cortisol ml(-1) plasma (control fish) up to 21.70 ng cortisol ml(-1) plasma]. Low levels of vitamin E in the diet also produced an increase of erythrocyte fragility. Under chronic stress, fish fed the vitamin E-deficient diet showed a reduction in growth and survival, and alterations in haematological parameters, such as an additional haemoconcentration in response to overcrowding when compared with control fish. Under repetitive stress, fish fed the vitamin E deficient diet showed faster elevation of plasma cortisol levels in response to stress and a lower survival rate than control fish. Production of oxygen radicals by blood neutrophils was reduced under repetitive stress in fish fed the non-supplemented diet. These results suggest that fish fed the vitamin E-deficient diet had lower stress resistance.
This article was published in Fish Shellfish Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development