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Influence of highly unsaturated fatty acids on the responses of white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) postlarvae to low salinity
Palacios, E.; Bonilla, A.; Pérez, A.; Racotta, I.S.; Civera, R. (2004). Influence of highly unsaturated fatty acids on the responses of white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) postlarvae to low salinity. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 299(2): 201-215
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Palacios, E.
  • Bonilla, A.
  • Pérez, A.
  • Racotta, I.S.
  • Civera, R.

    Salinity stress tests are commonly applied in shrimp hatcheries to estimate the quality of postlarvae (PL) to be used during growout. Higher larval survival during culture and to a salinity stress test in both fish and crustaceans have been reported when specimens were offered a diet containing high levels of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA). However, it is not clear if increased survival is a result of better overall physiological condition resulting from the diet or a specific effect of HUFA on osmoregulatory mechanisms. This study analyzed if HUFA-rich diets could modify the fatty acid composition of membranes in gills, and if this change in composition could affect the activity of the Na+/K+ ATPase pump and carbonic anhydrase in relation to changes in salinity. One-day-old postlarvae (PL1) pooled from different spawns were fed for 20 days with Artemia sp. nauplii enriched with three levels of HUFA: low, medium and high. At PL20, survivals during culture and to salinity stress test (tap water for 30 min) were evaluated. Also at this stage, Na+/K+-ATPase and carbonic anhydrase activity, morphometric variables, and fatty acid composition in the hepatopancreas and gills were measured after they were submitted to a salinity challenge in dilute seawater (10 ppt) for 3 h. No significant differences were observed in survival rates during culture, but survival to a salinity stress test was higher and gill area was larger in PL20 fed the Artemia sp. nauplii enriched with medium HUFA levels, probably as a result of an increased 22:6n-3 content and higher 22:6n-3/20:5n-3 ratio in this diet and in the tissues of the organisms fed this diet. Na+/K+-ATPase specific activity was significantly higher in posterior gills, while the specific activity of the carbonic anhydrase was higher in anterior gills. Enzymatic activities increased significantly in PL20 submitted to a salinity challenge, and HUFA levels in the diet affected both. The proportion of fatty acids in hepatopancreas and gills were significantly affected not only by diet, but also by exposure to dilute media. This effect is discussed in relation to an increase in gill surface and changes in fatty acid composition in the phospholipids present in gill membranes, which can modify the permeability and the activity of the Na+/K+-ATPase pump. The beneficial effect of HUFA supplementation in the diet on survival to salinity stress test is partially related to modification of fatty acid composition of gills and to a larger gill area, which in turn enhances osmoregulatory mechanisms, namely Na+/K+-ATPase and carbonic anhydrase activities.

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