Role of dietary gingerZingiber officinalein improving growth performances and immune functions ofLabeo rohitafingerlings

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Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale) as a feeding supplement on the growth, skin mucus immune parameters, and cytokine-related gene expression of Labeo rohita, and its susceptibility to Aeromonas hydrophila infection. Diets containing six different concentrations of dried ginger (0% [basal diet], 0.2% [G2], 0.4% [G4], 0.6% [G6], 0.8% [G8], and 1.0% [G10] were fed to fish (average weight: 12.3 g) for 60 days. Growth parameters were examined at 30 and 60 days post-feeding. Skin mucosal immune responses and gene expression were examined 60 days post-feeding. Results showed that growth parameters such as final weight gain (93.47 ± 1.73 g) and specific growth rate (3.41 ± 0.14) were significantly higher in G8 than in the control. Among the skin mucosal immune parameters examined, lysozyme (46.5 ± 3.8 U mg−1), immunoglobulin level (8.9 ± 0.4 unit-mg mL−1), protein level (44.3 ± 2.2 mg mL−1) were significantly higher in G8. However, alkaline phosphatase activity (171.6 ± 10.2 IU L−1) was high (P < 0.05) in the G10 group. Skin mucus of G8 exhibited significantly higher inhibition zones when tested against pathogenic bacterial strains. For cytokine-related genes, anti-oxidant genes (zinc/copper superoxide dismutase [SOD1], glutathione peroxidase [GPx], anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-10 [IL-10], transforming growth factor-beta [TGF-β]), signalling molecules nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 [Nrf2], and Inhibitor protein κBα [IκB-α]) were all up-regulated in the head kidney, intestine, and hepatopancreas of fish that were fed experimental diets. In addition, expression abundance was significantly higher in most tissues in G2 and/or G10, than in the control. Conversely, expression of genes encoding pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, tumour necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-α]), signalling molecules Kelch-like-ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1), and nuclear factor kappa B p65 (NF-κBp65) were down-regulated in treatment groups. Moreover, fish fed a 0.8% [G8] ginger supplemented diet exhibited significantly higher relative post-challenge survival (65.52%) against Aeromonas hydrophila infection. Collectively, these results suggest that dietary supplements of ginger (at 0.8%) can promote growth performance, skin mucus immune parameters, and strengthen immunity of L. rohita. Therefore, ginger represents a promising food additive for carps in aquaculture.

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