The effects of Natucin C-Natucin P mixture on blood biochemical parameters, antioxidant activity and non-specific immune responses in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2016 Aug; 55:367-73.FS
Natucin C (NC) and Natucin P (NP) are two kinds of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). In the present study, the effects of NC-NP mixture on a tilapia species (Oreochromis niloticus) were examined. Animals were fed with either a control diet or one of five AMP-supplemented diets for eight weeks. AMP-supplemented diets contained five increasing levels of NP from G1 to G5 and one level of NC (200 mg/kg). Results showed that fish in the G3, G4 and G5 groups had significantly higher levels of total protein (TP), albumin (ALB) and globulin (GLO) in serum than fish in the control group. Fish fed with G4 and G5 diets exhibited significantly higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels compared to the control fish. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels in all AMP-supplemented groups were significantly lower than the control. In addition, the total antioxidant capacity (TAOC) and lysozyme (LZM) activities were significantly increased in fish fed with the G3 and G4 diets, respectively compared to the control. The serum malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in fish fed with AMP-supplemented diets were significantly decreased compared to those not supplemented with AMPs. Furthermore, the mRNA expressions of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β), gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) in the hepatopancreas, spleen, kidney and gill were measured. Overall, the expression levels were enhanced in an NP dose-dependent and tissue-specific manner. The expressions of four genes in four organs (except IL-1β in spleen, and TNF-α and HSP70 in gill) were significantly upregulated in fish fed with the G5 diet. Fish fed with the G4 diet had increased expression levels of IL-1β in spleen and IFN-γ in kidney. The relative expression levels of TNF-α, IL-1β and HSP70 in the hepatopancreas in fish fed with the G3 diet were significantly upregulated compared to the control. Transcriptional levels of IL-1β and HSP70 in the hepatopancreas, IFN-γ and HSP70 in the kidney and IL-1β in the gills of fish fed with the G2 diet were upregulated. Taken together, our results indicated that the NC-NP mixture can enhance the antioxidant capacity and innate immune ability of O. niloticus, indicating that this mixture might be a potential alternative to antibiotics when used as a feed additive.