Effects of ammonia-N stress on metabolic and immune function via the neuroendocrine system inLitopenaeus vannamei

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immunological responses, such as phenoloxidase (PO), antibacterial, and bacteriolytic activities, and metabolic variables, such as oxyhemocyanin, lactate, and glucose levels, of Litopenaeus vannamei exposed to ambient ammonia-N at 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10 mg/L for 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h, and determine the effects of the eyestalk hormone on the metabolic and immune functions of unilateral eyestalk-ablated L. vannamei exposed to ambient ammonia-N at 10 mg/L. The actual concentrations of the control and test solutions were 0.04, 2.77, 6.01, 8.30, and 11.36 mg/L for ammonia-N and 0.01, 0.15, 0.32, 0.44, and 0.60 mg/L for NH3-N (unionized ammonia). The results showed a significant decrease in the PO, antibacterial, and bacteriolytic activities in the plasma as well as a significant increase in the glucose and lactate levels and decreased oxyhemocyanin levels in the hemolymph of L. vannamei exposed to elevated ammonia-N levels. These findings indicated that L. vannamei exposed to ammonia-N might demonstrate weakened metabolic and immunological responses. Moreover, eyestalk removal caused a dramatic decrease in PO, antibacterial, and bacteriolytic activities, which indicated that the eyestalk hormone in L. vannamei exhibited a higher immune response due to the induction of protective mechanisms against ammonia-N stress. Eyestalk removal also caused a dramatic decrease in glucose and lactate levels, suggesting that the eyestalk hormone is involved in glucose metabolism to meet the energy requirements under ammonia-N stress conditions.

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