Protective effect of glutamine and arginine against soybean meal-induced enteritis in the juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)

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Soybean meal can induce enteritis in the distal intestine (DI) and decrease the immunity of several cultured fish species, including turbot Scophthalmus maximus. Glutamine and arginine supplementation have been used to improve immunity and intestinal morphology in fish. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of these two amino acids on the immunity and intestinal health of turbot suffering from soybean meal-induced enteritis. Turbots (initial weight 7.6 g) were fed one of three isonitrogenous and isolipidic diets for 8 weeks: SBM (control diet), with 40% soybean meal; GLN, SBM diet plus 1.5% glutamine; ARG, the SBM diet plus 1.5% arginine. Symptoms that are typical of soybean meal-induced enteritis, including swelling of the lamina propria and subepithelial mucosa and a strong infiltration of various inflammatory cells was observed in fish that fed the SBM diet. Glutamine and arginine supplementation significantly increased (1) the weight gain and feed efficiency ratio; (2) the height and vacuolization of villi and the integrity of microvilli in DI; (3) serum lysozyme activity, and the concentrations of C3, C4, and IgM. These two amino acids also significantly decreased the infiltration of leucocytes in the lamina propria and submucosa and the expression of inflammatory cytokines including il-8, tnf-α, and tgf-β. For the mucosal microbiota, arginine supplementation significantly increased microbiota community richness and diversity, and glutamine supplementation significantly increased the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Bacillus. These results indicate that dietary glutamine and arginine improved the growth performance, feed utilization, and distal intestinal morphology, activated the innate and adaptive immune systems, changed the intestinal mucosal microbiota community, and relieved SBMIE possibly by suppression of the inflammation response.

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