Aflatoxicosis Dysregulates the Physiological Responses to Crowding Densities in the Marine Teleost Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata)
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Author/sBarany Ruiz, Andre; Fuentes, Juan; Martínez-Rodríguez, Gonzalo; Mancera Romero, Juan Miguel
SourceAnimals 2021, 11, 753
A fungal toxin, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), undermines growth and stress axes of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) with depletion of somatic carbohydrate and lipid reservoirs. The present study assessed the physiological consequences of high stocking density versus low stocking density in seabream juveniles, which had previously been fed with AFB1 supplementation. These stressors are likely to converge by inferring animal welfare and economic profitability in the food animal industry. Interestingly, AFB1 seems to cause physiological and molecular dysfunction in response to overcrowding densities. Our results might be relevant to elucidate a potential risk for fish farming that is often overlooked. Several studies in fish have shown that aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) causes a disparity of species-dependent physiological disorders without compromising survival. We studied the effect of dietary administration of AFB1 (2 mg AFB1 kg(-1) diet) in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) juveniles in combination with a challenge by stocking density (4 vs. 40 g L-1). The experimental period duration was ten days, and the diet with AFB1 was administered to the fish for 85 days prior to the stocking density challenge. Our results indicated an alteration in the carbohydrate and lipid metabolites mobilization in the AFB1 fed group, which was intensified at high stocking density (HSD). The CT group at HSD increased plasma cortisol levels, as expected, whereas the AFB1-HSD group did not. The star mRNA expression, an enzyme involved in cortisol synthesis in the head kidney, presented a ninefold increase in the AFB1 group at low stocking density (LSD) compared to the CT-LSD group. Adenohypophyseal gh mRNA expression increased in the AFB1-HSD but not in the CT-HSD group. Overall, these results confirmed that chronic AFB1 dietary exposure alters the adequate endocrinological physiological cascade response in S. aurata, compromising the expected stress response to an additional stressor, such as overcrowding.