© 2017 Azeredo, Machado, Afonso, Fierro-Castro, Reyes-López, Tort, Gesto, Conde-Sieira, Míguez, Soengas, Kreuz, Wuertz, Peres, Oliva-Teles and Costas. Methionine and tryptophan appear to be fundamental in specific cellular pathways involved in the immune response mechanisms, including stimulation of T-regulatory cells by tryptophan metabolites or pro-inflammatory effects upon methionine supplementation. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the immunomodulatory effect of these amino acids on the inflammatory and neuroendocrine responses in juveniles of European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax. To achieve this, goal fish were fed for 14 days methionine and tryptophan-supplemented diets (MET and TRP, respectively, 2× dietary requirement level) or a control diet meeting the amino acids requirement levels (CTRL). Fish were sampled for immune status assessment and the remaining fish were challenged with intraperitoneally injected inactivated Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida and sampled either 4 or 24 h post-injection. Respiratory burst activity, brain monoamines, plasma cortisol, and immune-related gene expression showed distinct and sometimes opposite patterns regarding the effects of dietary amino acids. While neuroendocrine intermediates were not affected by any dietary treatment at the end of the feeding trial, both supplemented diets led to increased levels of plasma cortisol after the inflammatory insult, while brain monoamine content was higher in TRP-fed fish. Peripheral blood respiratory burst was higher in TRP-fed fish injected with the bacteria inoculum but only compared to those fed MET. However, no changes were detected in total antioxidant capacity. Complement factor 3 was upregulated in MET-fed fish but methionine seemed to poorly affect other genes expression patterns. In contrast, fish fed MET showed increased immune cells numbers both before and after immune challenge, suggesting a strong enhancing effect of methionine on immune cells proliferation. Differently, tryptophan effects on inflammatory transcripts suggested an inhibitory mode of action. This, together with a high production of brain monoamine and cortisol levels, suggests that tryptophan might mediate regulatory mechanisms of neuroendocrine and immune systems cooperation. Overall, more studies are needed to ascertain the role of methionine and tryptophan in modulating (stimulate or regulate) fish immune and neuroendocrine responses.
- Functional diets
- Innate immunity