Metagenomics analysis of gut microbiota and immune modulation in zebrafish (Danio rerio) fed chitosan silver nanocomposites
In this study, we evaluated the effects of chitosan silver nanocomposites (CAgNCs) supplemented diet on gut microbial community, goblet cell density, gut morphometry and mRNA expression of immune related and mucin encoding genes in zebrafish. Zebrafish gut microbiota analysis results clearly showed the reduction of phylum Proteobacteria. However, they remained as the major bacterial group in gut with CAgNCs supplemented diet, while the abundance of phylum Fusobacteria and phylum Bacteroidetes were increased notably compared to the control diet fed fish. Total goblet cell density was significantly increased at 30 and 60 days in CAgNCs supplemented group (1.6–fold and 2.0-fold, respectively) compared to the control group indicating enhanced immune function in the gut. CAgNCs supplementation has also increased villi height significantly in the zebrafish mid gut at the end of 30 (95.5 ± 3.7 μm) and 60 days (144.40 ± 4.8 μm) compared to control diet fed fish at 30 (86.90 ± 3.7 μm) and 60 days (96.2 ± 4.8 μm). Furthermore, mRNA expression of immune related genes such as TNF-α (6.2-fold), IL-10 (5.0-fold), IL-12 (9.2-fold), IRF-1 (5.2-fold), Defbl1 (3-fold), Lyz (5.1-fold) and mucin encoding genes were significantly upregulated (above 2-fold) compared to that of control group. The current study revealed that CAgNCs supplemented diet engenders promising effects on fish gut immunity by enhancing beneficial microbial populations, goblet cell density, villi length, and transcriptional regulation of immune related and mucin encoding genes.