Fish & shellfish immunology

Effects of dietary inulin, Bacillus subtilis and microalgae on intestinal gene expression in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.).

PMID 23318995


The present work describes effects of dietary inulin, two microalgae (Tetraselmis chuii and Phaeodactylum tricornutum) and Bacillus subtilis (solely or combined with inulin or microalgae) on the expression of different genes in the intestine of the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) following four weeks of a feeding trial. Selected genes were grouped into five categories: genes involved in inflammation (genes encoding proinflammatory proteins), genes related to the cytoskeleton, genes encoding proteins of junction complexes, genes implicated in digestion processes and genes related to transport proteins. Regarding proinflammatory genes, interleukin-8 (IL-8) expression showed a significant increase in the fish fed all the assayed diets, except the B. subtilis + inulin diet, whereas the expression of caspase-1 (CASP-1) was also increased by the B. subtilis and B. subtilis + T. chuii diets. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) gene expression only increased in fish fed the B. subtilis diet. Among cytoskeletal and junctional genes, only β-actin and occludin were significantly affected by the assayed diets. β-actin expression was up-regulated by the inulin-containing diets (inulin and B. subtilis + inulin diets), whereas occludin expression increased in the fish fed all the assayed diets, except the P. tricornutum diet. Finally, the expression of transport protein genes demonstrated that the inulin diet and all the experimental diets containing B. subtilis significantly increased transferrin expression, whereas digestive enzymes were not affected by the experimental diets. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that inulin, B. subtilis and microalgae can modulate intestinal gene expression in the gilthead seabream. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the effects of some food additives on the intestinal expression of different genes in this species. More studies are needed to understand the role of these genes in maintaining the integrity and functionality of the intestine.

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