Methionine hydroxy analogue improves intestinal immunological and physical barrier function in young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that methionine hydroxy analogue (MHA) enhances the defense against enteritis occurrence via improving intestinal barrier function in fish. After 630 young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) (259.70 ± 0.47 g) fed six graded levels of MHA (0, 2.4, 4.4, 6.4, 8.5 and 10.5 g/kg diet) and one dl-methionine group (6.4 g/kg diet) for 8 weeks. At the end of feeding trial, 15 fish from each treatment were challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 days. The results indicated that optimal MHA enhanced the capacity of fish against enteritis emergence, which might be related to the positive effects of MHA on intestinal immunological and physical barrier function in fish. Dietary MHA supplementation enhanced intestinal immunological barrier function via (1) lysozyme (LZM) and acid phosphatase (ACP) activities, complement 3 (C3), C4 and immunoglobulin M (IgM) contents and up-regulated mRNA levels of liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2, hepcidin (head kidney), β-defensin-1; (2) repressing p38MAPK/IKKβ/IκBα/NF-κB signaling pathway to down-regulate pro-inflammatory cytokines mRNA levels except IL-8 mRNA level only in mid and distal intestine; (3) potentiating TOR-signal cascades to up-regulate anti-inflammatory cytokines. Meanwhile, dietary MHA supplementation improved intestinal physical barrier via (1) down-regulating c-Jun N-terminal kinase mRNA levels to inhibit death receptor and mitochondria pathways induced apoptosis; (2) modulating Keap1a/Nrf2 system to elevate antioxidant enzymes genes isoforms mRNA levels and corresponding enzymes activities, subsequently alleviate oxidative damage; (3) down-regulating MCLK gene expression to up-regulating occludin, zonula occluden 1 and claudins mRNA levels except claudin-7a and claudin-7b only in the proximal intestine. In conclusion, bases on the capacity defense against enteritis, proximal intestinal malondialdehyde content and lysozyme activity, the optimal MHA supplementation levels were 5.83, 5.59 and 6.07 g/kg diet (4.01 g/kg methionine basal), respectively. This study indicates that MHA exerts a positive effect on fish intestinal health status and a superior efficacy to dl-methionine based on the positive effects.