Low vitamin E in diet reduces stress resistance of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) juveniles

D. Montero, L. Tort, L. Robaina, J. M. Vergara, M. S. Izquierdo

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    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 150mg of alpha tocopherol kg-1of 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 167·23U ml-1(control fish) down to 100·99U 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 3·91ng cortisol ml-1plasma (control fish) up to 21·70ng cortisol ml-1plasma]. 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. © 2001 Academic Press.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-490
    JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


    • Complement
    • Plasma cortisol
    • Sparus aurata
    • Stress
    • Vitamin E


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