Modulation of immunity and hepatic antioxidant defense by corticosteroids in pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus)

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We investigated the impact of both the oral administration of hydrocortisone (HC) and an acute stressor on stress, innate immune responses and antioxidant system/oxidative stress responses of juvenile Piaractus mesopotamicus. Fish were either 1) given a commercial feed (C), 2) given a feed supplemented with 400 mg/kg HC, or 3) fed a commercial feed, chased for 2 min and exposed to air for 4 min (S). After initial sampling, fish C and HC were fed and sampled 1, 3, 6, 24 and 72 h post-feeding. Fish S were fed at the same time as the other groups, exposed to a stressor, and sampled 1, 3, 6, 24 and 72 h after. Exposure to the stressor increased circulating glucose and cortisol levels (at 1 and 3 h, respectively), while oral HC increased circulating cortisol at 1 h and glucose at 3 h. The stressor activated respiratory activity of leukocytes (RAL) at 3 h and reduced it at 6 h. HC did not activate RAL, but it did impair it at 6 h. The serum hemolytic activity of the complement system (HAC50) was impaired by the stressor at 1 and 3 h and by HC at 1 h. Regarding the antioxidant system, exposure to the stressor reduced glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) activity and decreased concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) in the liver up to 6 h. HC only impaired GPx. Additionally, stress induced the accumulation of melano-macrophage (MM) and melano-macrophage centers (MMC), which are biomarkers of oxidative stress, in the spleen. Differences in biomarkers in fish given cortisol and exposed to stress indicate that exogenous hormone was unable to precisely reproduce stress responses.




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Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology, v. 260.

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