Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil prevents alterations to purinergic enzymes and ameliorates the innate immune response in silver catfish infected with Aeromonas hydrophila.Microb Pathog. 2017 Aug; 109:61-66.MP
Aeromonas hydrophila infection represents a major impediment to the development of aquaculture, leading to important economic losses. Over the last few years, different methods have been used to counteract and minimize the negative effects of this infection, such as the use of Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil, popularly known as tea tree oil (TTO), that possess a bactericide action against A. hydrophila. The purinergic system develops an important role in the inflammatory response, principally due to involvement of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the inflammatory process, as well as by the anti-inflammatory properties of adenosine (Ado), a molecule that is controlled by NTPDase, 5'-nucleotidase and adenosine deaminase (ADA) enzymes. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of purinergic enzymes in the pathogenesis of A. hydrophila infection, and whether the purinergic pathway and innate immune response are involved in the protective effects of TTO in silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen) experimentally infected with A. hydrophila. Our results revealed that A. hydrophila infection increased seric NTPDase and 5'-nucleotidase activity, while ADA activity decreased. Also, the seric levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interferon gamma (INF-γ) increased in the infected fish, while the seric level of anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL-10) decreased. Treatment with TTO was able to prevent the impairment of purinergic enzymes and improve the innate immune response through the modulation of cytokine response during A. hydrophila infection. In summary, prophylactic therapy with TTO can be considered an important approach to improve the immune response and consequently avoid the inflammatory process in fish infected with A. hydrophila.