A synbiotic improves the immunity of white shrimp,Litopenaeus vannamei: Metabolomic analysis reveal compelling evidence

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In this study, we examined the synergistic effects of a diet-administered synbiotic comprising galactooligosaccharide (GOS) and the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum 7–40 on immune responses, immune-related gene expressions, and disease resistance to Vibrio alginolyticus in white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. To unravel the regulatory role of the synbiotic in activating the immune system of shrimp, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomic analysis were used to investigate hepatopancreas metabolites, then significantly altered metabolites were confirmed in both the hepatopancreas and plasma by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and spectrophotometric analysis. Shrimp were fed four experimental diets for 60 days, including a basal diet with no GOS or probiotic (control), 0.4% GOS (PRE), probiotic (PRO), and 0.4% GOS in combination with the probiotic (SYN). Results showed that the SYN diet significantly increased survival of L. vannamei 24h after a V. alginolyticus injection. Immune parameters such as phenoloxidase activity, respiratory bursts, phagocytic activity and gene expressions, including prophenoloxidase I, serine proteinase, and peroxinectin, of shrimp fed the SYN diet significantly increased, compared to the other treatments and control. In addition, results from the 1H NMR analysis revealed that 22 hepatopancreas metabolites were matched and identified between the SYN and control groups, among which three metabolites, i.e., inosine monophosphate (IMP), valine, and betaine, significantly increased in the SYN group. Confirmation using RP-HPLC and spectrophotometric methods showed that IMP presented high amounts in the hepatopancreas, but not in the plasma of shrimp; in contrast, valine and betaine metabolites were in high concentrations in both the hepatopancreas and plasma. Our results suggested that GOS and the probiotic had a synergistic effect on enhancing immunity and disease resistance of L. vannamei against V. alginolyticus infection through inducing syntheses of a nucleotide (IMP), a branched amino acid (valine), and a methyl group donor (betaine) in the hepatopancreas, which were then released into the plasma and directly taken up by hemocytes, resulting in a triggering of melanization and phagocytosis processes in cells.HIGHLIGHTSA synbiotic had a synergistic effect on enhancing immunity and disease resistance of white shrimp against Vibrio infection.Twenty two metabolites were identified in hepatopancreas of shrimp, of which three metabolites significantly increased, including inosine monophosphate (IMP), valine, and betaine.For confirmation, synbiotic significantly induced plasma valine and betaine metabolites, but not plasma IMP metabolite.

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