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In order to explore the effects of dietary selenium yeast, tea polyphenols and their combination on growth of Wuchang bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) and its resistance to nitrite stress, 360 healthy Wuchang bream with initial body weight of (55.90 ± 2.60) g were randomly divided into four groups: a control group fed with basal diet and three treated groups fed with basal diets supplemented with 0.50 mg/kg selenium yeast, 50 mg/kg tea polyphenols, and the combination of 0.50 mg/kg selenium yeast and 50 mg/kg tea polyphenols, respectively. After 60 d of feeding, the growth performance of Wuchang bream was measured. Then 25 fish per tank were exposed to nitrite stress of 15.0 mg/L. The serum stress hormones, liver histology and hepatic antioxidant responses were evaluated before nitrite exposure (0 h) and at 6, 12, 24, 48 and 96 h after exposure. The results showed that before nitrite exposure, compared with the control, the weight gain, specific growth rate, liver total antioxidant capacity, the activities and transcriptional levels of hepatic antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase) in the selenium yeast and combination groups were significantly increased, while feed conversion rate was decreased significantly, which suggested that the combined use of selenium yeast and tea polyphenols as well as the single selenium yeast supplementation improved growth performance and enhanced antioxidant capacity in fish. After nitrite exposure, compared with the control, liver total antioxidant capacity as well as the activities and transcription levels of catalase superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in three treatment groups were significantly increased in varying degrees whereas serum cortisol contents and liver malondialdehyde levels were decreased significantly. By contrast, the combined use of selenium yeast and tea polyphenols was more effective than the single supplementation with selenium yeast or tea polyphenols. In consistent with this, alterations of the liver histostructure in three treatment groups were slower and less severe than in the control group after nitrite exposure. In conclusion, a basal diet supplemented with the combination of 0.50 mg/kg selenium yeast and 50 mg/kg tea polyphenols could effectively improve growth performance and nitrite resistance in Wuchang bream.Selenium yeast or the combination could promote growth and enhance nitrite tolerance.The mechanism is by improving antioxidant enzyme activity and transcription.Selenium yeast has main effects on GPx, while tea polyphenols works on SOD.The combination of selenium yeast and tea polyphenols has better effects than single use.